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Lake Redstone to rebid dredging project
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Lake Redstone to rebid dredging project

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LA VALLE—Lake Redstone’s Protection District board is pushing ahead with its dredging project with hopes of presenting it to taxpayers in May.

The board unanimously approved at its March 5 meeting at La Valle Town Hall to authorize Dredging Committee member Dick Fish to work with Jewell Engineering to review the bid documents and “structure them in the most effective way” to make the project more cost effective and flexible to contractors. The regular meeting was scheduled one week earlier than usual since some of the board members are leaving for vacation.

The dredging project is scheduled to go out to bid March 11. The board is hoping to receive and open the bids at a special meeting April 5 at La Valle Town Hall and present the information to taxpayers at another special meeting scheduled for May 11. The May meeting will take place at the Cal Center at 1100 South Albert Avenue in Reedsburg.

The board is planning to eliminate dredging one bay that has four cubic yards of sediment, located on the southwest corner of the lake, because it isn’t “impairing anybody’s access” said Fish. That would take the dredging project down to 25 bays, instead of 26.

Last June, the board rejected three bids for the project ranging from over $3 million to $6 million due to costs and the timeline of the project. It has been pushed back several times as the board has looked at several cost saving options, including listing additional disposal sites and looking at switching from hydraulic to mechanical dredging.

The board has also looked at several sources of funding and was recently turned down by the Sauk County Conservation, Planning and Zoning committee for a $6 million request in county assistance with the estimated $7 million project. Members of the Lake Redstone Protection District board said during the meeting it will continue conversations with the county to restructure the request for dredging funds.

The board is also looking at FEMA funds for an additional 30,000 cubic yards of sediment pushed into the lake from the 2018 floods as well as mitigation efforts and the construction of a new earthen berm at Meronak Meadows that also sustained damage from the floods.

Protection District Board Member Paul Burke said the board is still working on submitting FEMA applications. After discussion with its contact from FEMA, Burke said the board will eliminate the emergency request for funding on the application because there wasn’t emergency work done to the lake right after the 2018 floods. The board also approved to amend its contract with Jewell Engineering to assist with submitting the FEMA application.

Besides asking taxpayers and potential FEMA funds, the board is also considering reaching out to individuals who are not residents of Lake Redstone that utilize the lake, like residents and area businesses in Mauston or Reedsburg, to donate towards the dredging project. Chairman Mike Mittelstadt said his intention is to publish a donation flyer by the end of March.

Lake Redstone’s tax rate is about 25 cents per $1,000 of the district’s real estate and personal property value, whereas the other districts have rates of anywhere between $2.19 and $2.54 per $1,000, according to the Baraboo News Republic.

New chairman appointed

The board approved Mike Mittelstadt to take over as chairman after Chuck Ecklund resigned Feb. 16. He was nominated by Board Member Ken Keegstra, who was present at the meeting by phone. Mittelstadt also serves on the protection districts dredging committee. The board also appointed Al Baade to fill in Ecklund’s position as commissioner, the term expires in August.

Other business

La Valle Town Representative Ray Demaskie, who serves as the town chairman, said the town board will vote at its March 11 meeting to get bids on a project to fix the Section 11 boat landing, that remains closed due to damage from the 2018 floods. Demaskie also said FEMA will have a mitigation team survey the damage to the boat landing.

Baraboo News Republic Reporter Tim Damos contributed to this report. Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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