Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Shelter construction to start August

by Chris Schultz

April 12, 2012

LYONS TOWNSHIP - Construction of a $737,000 storm shelter in Country Estates mobile home park will probably start in mid-August.

Lyons Town Clerk Karla Hill said town supervisors and federal officials met late last month to go over the details of funding and reimbursement for the shelter.

Hill said the town has already spent $19,000 in engineering and grant startup fees, Usually, that would be the town's unreimbursed share of the storm shelter construction. But it now appears the town will be reimbursed 100 percent for the project, she said.

The preconstruction timeline calls for final design and specifications completed by May 30, permits from the town and county issued by July 5 and bids will be out by Aug. 1, Hill said.

The outer shell of the building is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, although final completion and clean up isn't expected until sometime in January 2013.

Originally, the town was to contribute about 2.5 percent of the total cost of the project.

Hill said the Town Board was told by federal officials that the value of the land will be added to the grant, which will cover the town's 2.5 percent.

The Town Board has hired engineering firm Crispell-Snyder to do the engineering, site testing, preliminary plans and final plans.

According to information provided by Cynthia Ganka, Country Estates association manager:

Money for the shelter was delayed late last year until Congress approved a budget early last month.

But on Jan. 4, Country Estates received a total of $746,000 in grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other state and federal agencies.

FEMA will pay 75 percent, or $559,500, toward the shelter.

The Wisconsin Emergency Management Agency will provide 12.5 percent, or $93,2150. About 10 percent or $90,000 will come from the Community Block Grant program.

The shelter is to be built near the middle of the mobile home park. Its location should give residents between 10 to 20 minutes to get to the shelter.

Country Estates is just south of Hospital Road at 6978 Prairie Lane.

Plans call for the shelter to be 2,455 square feet. Under FEMA regulations that would be big enough to shelter everyone living at Country Estates.

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

- The structure will be handicapped accessible.

- 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 will be designed to withstand 250 mph winds.

- The structure would also be able to withstand blows from projectiles or wind-propelled objects.

- The shelter will have its own power generator.

The company will also write the bid specifications, help the town go out for construction bids and then perform all inspections of the building.