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Dam issues surface

Inspection took place in 2012

By Bert Lehman

The Pigeon River dam in Clintonville is in need of repairs, but the price tag of the repairs is unknown.

Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell informed the city council at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, that the Public Works Department informed him that the Pigeon River dam was inspected in 2012 and there were repair recommendations made at that time to address issues with the dam. Kell said not all of the recommendations have been addressed by the city.

Kell added that the Pigeon Lake District is aware of this and has been asking the city when it is going to address those issues.

“Looking at the report, all the easy things have been addressed,” Kell said. “… There are downstream piers that have concrete damage below the water line, and they were recommending that those piers be improved within the next two years. This is kind of like the bridge issue, the longer you let this go the water flow continues to wear this concrete away, and it can get to the point where it’s going to be very expensive to repair.”

“The recommendation was to be addressed by 2014 and this hasn’t been looked at yet.”

Kell recommended that the city hire an engineer this year to inspect the piers and draft a plan for how they would be rehabbed.

He added that there is a grant program through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that could possibly pay up to half of the dam rehab costs. The deadline for the grant is in February of each year.

“I would propose that in February 2017 we submit for the funding and hopefully do the repairs in 2017,” Kell said. “But until we know what the estimated cost is, what needs to be done, and have the plans for it, we can’t apply for the grant.”

Mayor Judy Magee added that it is important for the city to take action before the dam is beyond repair and can’t be replaced.

The council unanimously approved authorizing Kell to seek cost estimates to rehab the dam. Once cost estimates are obtained, the issue will be brought back to the council.

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