Lake Dredging 1 Step Closer

The Shell Rock River Watershed District board of managers approved two measures Tuesday in connection with the dredging of Fountain Lake.

Managers approved an establishment order for the project as required by state statute and bid letting for the first cell of the confined disposal facility.

The CDF will be used to manage sediments in the dredging process.

Director of Field Operations Andy Henschel said that interested companies will have 25 to 30 days to fill out the bids once they are sent out, noting he thinks approval means the managers can move forward in the district’s mission statement of bringing clean water to the district.

Bid letting was approved after questions were asked about a possible Department of Natural Resources permit delay due to the DNR asking the Watershed District to complete an environmental assessment worksheet.

Henschel said the district understands it has to be flexible for different entities who dictate when the dredging permits will be released, noting the measures were needed before dredging begins.

“We’re marching forward,” Administrator Brett Behnke said.

Henschel said the goal is for a dredge to enter Fountain Lake in 2017, noting the district still has to decide how deep a dredge will go into the lake.

The CDF is a dewatering site in the dredging process. When dredging takes place, there will be a mixture of water and sediment pumped to the disposal facility, and the CDF will be used to settle the sediment and siphon off the water. An embankment will go around the perimeter of the CDF.

The Watershed District closed on a purchase agreement with Richard Stadheim for 101 acres in May and a purchase agreement has been signed with Larry Wangen for a little under five acres for the location of the CDF.

Managers unanimously approved a purchase agreement with George Dress of 13.36 acres for $7,000 an acre last month. The site borders the expected site of the CDF, north of Interstate 90 and 1 1/2 miles north of Fountain Lake. It will be used for stormwater management, staging equipment and materials, and stockpiling soil and stormwater.

© 2015 Shell Rock River Watershed District, 305 S 1st Avenue, Albert Lea, MN 56007