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Lake Dredge On Shore For Winter

October 9, 2012
Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

The dredge on Five Island Lake has been brought to shore for winter. The discharge pipe has been disconnected and the dredge is ready to be winterized.

2012 was not a very productive season for dredging Five Island Lake. City Administrator John Bird told members of Emmetsburg City Council that the dredge ran a little, but not much, this year.

"Without Tim Sidles out there to repair what we had, the dredge probably would never have been in the water," commented Councilman Bill Burdick. "The dredge was in bad, bad shape -- wiring, the mechanics, there were no safety guards on anything."

Plans for the future, as far as dredging Five Island Lake, call for working with Thomas Dredging.

According to Bird, there are three options:?Thomas Dredging will come in and train a city-hired staff to run the dredge, working with the crew and training them for a full month; Thomas Dredging could move in and dredge, using city-owned equipment, an option which they have declined; or, Thoms Dredging will move in and do the dredging, using their own equipment and personnel, at a cost of $2.00 per yard.

"There's 1.3 million (cubic yards of silt) left, but the state of Iowa, when we met with them earlier this year, we were talking 450,000," said Bird.

"So we're talking $900,000 to $2.6 million to remove it," said Burdick.

"That's Thomas Dredging doing the work, their fuel, their staff, their equipment," said Bird.

"It's actually a pretty fair deal, but it's a lot of money," added councilman Corey Gramowski.

Before winter sets in, Denny Thomas, from Thomas Dredging, and a CAT?engine mechanic will inspect Emmetsburg's dredge. Bird noted that the mechanic requested that the dredge be pushed back into the water "under load" or pumping mud, to ensure meaningful readings.

While Denny Thomas is in Emmetsburg, he will also meet with Palo Alto County Engineer Joel Fantz about the possibility of building earthen weirs in the silt site.

"I suggested to Joel Fantz that someone from public properties get together with him, (County Supervisor) Jerry Hofstad and Pat Corley, go to the site and tell them what we want done. Denny Thomas needs to explain it to them," said Bird.

Bird was referring to Denny Thomas' idea of building earthen weirs in the silt site.

"According to Tim (Bunda), they don't realize how clean the water is that re-enters the lake," said Bird.

The idea is to snake berms through the silt site so the water has to travel a certain path, instead of out the discharge pipe and directly over to the weir box.

"Personally, I think if Tim Bunda thinks that water is clear, we could save that money and put it toward the dredge operation," said Bird.

Before cold weather sets in, the buoys will be taken off the discharge pipe. Also, the outboard motors will be taken off the flat-bottom boat and the work boat.

When the dredge pump and engine inspections are completed, the bubbler will be installed around the dredge and work boat, according to Bird.

Councilman Burdick expressed concern about the lack of progress dredging the lake.'"Is the lack of progress out there the lack of money, because we're spread too thin, the lack of good employment, lack of supervision??What is it out there??At this point we need to figure it out. We've gone two years without doing anything and spent who knows how much money. For a cubic yard out there, I'd say the price is very high right now," he said.



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