Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Paperwork slows Lyons shelter construction

by Chris Schultz

September 20, 2012

LYONS TOWNSHIP - The storm shelter at Country Estates mobile home park will involve ground work, steel work and concrete work.

But it's the paperwork that's taking up a lot of time.

Construction was to start in August.

Instead, design work is running behind, said Cynthia Ganka, Country Estates association manager.

Final design is expected to be completed in October, she said. That would push construction into late in the year.

In fact, ground may not be broken until the next construction season, she said.

"I wanted it built by then," said Ganka.

However, some of the paperwork delays were due to the financing for the $737,000 project, all of it coming from state or federal funds.

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

But Ganka said the town was later told by federal officials that the value of the land for the shelter would be added to the grant, which covers the town's 2.5 percent.

While the town welcomed the financial boost, it also meant more paperwork, Ganka said.

Meanwhile, Crispell-Snyder is doing the engineering, site testing, preliminary plans and final plans for the town.

Other issues also slowed construction of the shelter.

Money for the shelter was delayed in late 2011 until Congress approved a budget in early 2012.

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

n The structure will be handicapped accessible.

n The doors of the shelter will be keyed to unlock when the disaster alert siren sounds.

n The storm shelter cannot be used as a multipurpose building.

n The shelter's 12-inch concrete walls will be designed to withstand 250 mph winds.

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

n The shelter will have its own power generator.

FEMA is committed to 75 percent, or $559,500, toward the shelter.

The Wisconsin Emergency Management Agency will provide 12.5 percent, or $93,215.

About 10 percent or $90,000 comes 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 it.

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.