Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Lyons board hires Crispell-Snyder for shelter

by Chris Schultz

August 11, 2011

LYONS TOWNSHIP — Crispell-Snyder of Lake Geneva will do the engineering work for a storm shelter in Country Estates.

The Lyons Town Board on Monday approved hiring the company, contingent on funding being available for the project. Total cost of the engineering is $64,000.

The Country Estates Community Association has already applied for a $184,000 grant through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

That grant, and a matching grant of $553,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would go toward building the tornado and disaster shelter for the mobile home community.

Total cost of the facility has been estimated at $737,000.

Crispell-Snyder will do the site testing, preliminary plans, final plans, write the bid specifications, help the town go out for construction bids and then perform all construction and post-construction inspections of the building.

The shelter plans call for it to be 81 by 47 feet.

The above-ground structure will contain survival supplies as well as provide a secure location to wait out a tornado or other natural disaster. It will be handicapped accessible.

Country Estates serves 206 manufactured and mobile homes, and population of about 400.

According to plans released earlier, the doors of the shelter will be keyed to unlock when the disaster alert siren sounds.

The storm shelter cannot be used as a multipurpose building.

The shelter's 12-inch concrete walls are to be designed to withstand 250 mph winds. It would also be able to withstand blows from projectiles or wind-propelled objects.

The shelter would be built on the site of a baseball diamond, located near the middle of the mobile home park.

Its location should give residents between 10 to 20 minutes to get to the shelter to be secure. Plans call for the ball diamond to be relocated.

The shelter will have its own power generator.

Current estimates are that it would cost about $5,000 a year to properly maintain the shelter, although actual costs may vary from year to year.

According to research by the community association, a tornado did touch down near Country Estates in the 1970s which demolished a trailer on Creek Road, on the outskirts of the park.

If the association can't get the 25 percent CDBG grant, it would have to raise its association dues to pay off a loan.

Ganka estimated that a 20-year loan of $184,500 at 4.5 percent interest would come out to be an annual payment of $13,572

If that's divided by the 206 households, it would cost $66 per household per year, which would translate to $5.49 a month.

Country Estates is just south of Hospital Road. Offices for the Country Estates Sanitary District are at 6978 Prairie Lane.

The shelter will be just east of the sanitary district office on Prairie Lane.