LA VALLE – More sediment than expected could be lurking around in Lake Redstone as a result of the 2018 floods creating a murky situation for the lakes protection district board.
Lake Redstone had a breech in its water retention basin; earth berm at Meronek Meadows, located at West Redstone Drive and Pierce Road. The board said the berm “blew out” due to high water pressure during the late summer floods.
“It took part of the berm out and put it in the lake,” said Chuck Ecklund, chairman of the Lake Redstone Protection District Board. “It’s created a peninsula in the lake of all the soil that’s been washed out into that area of the lake.”
While no houses were affected, the area that was had the breech is close to the police boat landing. If the gap isn’t repaired additional sediment will continue to dump into Lake Redstone.
“If the rains continue so will the contamination of the lake,” Ecklund said.
More on the project was discussed at a special board meeting Oct. 26 with Jewell Engineering discussing a proposed project to construct a new berm and the board approving to release the project out to bid. Ecklund said the board is looking to start the project this fall and complete it by the time the spring rains start.
The board plans to open the bids for project at the Nov. 13 regular board meeting at La Valle Town Hall. Estimated costs were not known.
The design includes cutting back the berm at an angle with different barriers containing rocks in cages to trap sediment and soil from going into the lake. Ecklund compared to design to working like a French drain.
“That way there will be no breech because the water is going to let through but not the sediment,” Ecklund said. “That’s what we are going to try to prevent.”
Ecklund said the board is filing applications and has been in contact with FEMA about possibility of receiving federal funds for the berm construction project. He said the same breech happened in 2008 with the lakes protection district board, the Town of La Valle, FEMA and Wisconsin Disaster Fund contributing to a project to fix it. He said it took almost a year for the board to receive notification if FEMA was going to contribute to the project.
“It’s a long drawn out process,” Ecklund said.
Dredging project update
Meronek Meadows was a part of the 26 bays the board had planned for its dredging project.
It was originally planned to dredge 106,000 cubic yards of sediment from each bay. However, the board believes there may be additional sentiment to dredge due to the August and September flooding. A new survey is being conducted by Aryes Associates, the board’s advisor in the project, to reexamine the bays.
“We decided after the flood to figure out how much more sediment is in there so we don’t get surprised by the dredging company,” Chroszy said. “We wanted to calculate what it was.”
The board is hoping to have those survey results to share at the Nov. 13 board meeting.
In addition, the board has been reevaluating the dredging project since it turned down bids for the estimated $3 to $6 million project in July.
The board is hoping to confirm five additional disposal sites compared to the one site it had during the summer when the project first went out to bid. Chorozy said more sites are being considered “around the lake in different areas” and is hoping to confirm them by the end of the year.
Additional sites means crews do not have to transport sediment as far, resulting in saving time and a more cost effective way to dredge the 26 bays. Dick Fish, co-chairman of the dredging committee, said the board is looking to have all the information ready to present to taxpayers for a vote at a special meeting in May 2019 and stretch the project into 2020.
“We hope to offer as much flexibility as possible in the bid requirements so that we can get as many bidders as possible and get as competitive a situation as possible,” said Cary Dudczak, a dredging committee member.
Ecklund said the board is still looking to see if there are grant opportunities from Sauk County and other financial options to help cut down on costs.
The board will have its partners meeting Nov. 12 at the Sauk County Courthouse in Baraboo with the DNR, Sauk County and Juneau County officials to discuss about water quality and plans for the lake, including the dredging project.
Its next dredging committee meeting will be at 3 p.m. Nov. 8 and the regular board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Nov. 13. Both meetings will be held at the La Valle Town Hall.
Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter
@EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.
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