Gardner Lake was built in 1937. The Gardner Lake Dam classification was changed from significant hazard (Class B) to high hazard (Class C) in 2013. An inspection in 2015 identified failures along the length of the spillway and concluded the spillway needs to be replaced to ensure the integrity of the dam. The spillway has remained closed, and the $300,000 deemed necessary to repair/replace it is beyond the city’s current budget. Staff photo by Albert Rukwaro


The on-again, off-again repairs to Gardner Lake’s spillway may be off again. Maybe.
In 2013, an inspection of the spillway concluded it was hazardous, and an inspection in 2015 identified failures along the length of the spillway. It concluded the spillway needs to be replaced to ensure the integrity of the dam.
“Our engineer as part of their scope of work reviewed the spillway project and provided cost estimates,” said Michael Kramer, department of public works. ” Staff is working on the CIP project, however, it does exceed the previous budget of $300,000.  Staff is working on an action plans to comply with the recommendations in the safety inspection.”
In January, 2017, the Gardner City council approved dredging the lake and repairing the dam for a cost of $780,000. Michael Kramer, public works director, said the State Division of Conservation (DOC) had responded to a June 2016 city request for funding and would contribute $280,000 in 2017 to fund the dredging project. Kramer also said DOC was hopeful that another $200,000 would be available in 2018, in which case more dredging would be done.
However, that changed in April when Kramer sent an email update to Larry Desmarteau, Gardner Lake Association president, to read to the residents. The email said that Gardner’s grant application was no longer being considered by KDA (Division of Conservation, Kansas Department of Agriculture). State funding has been denied because the lake is “not a source for municipal water use.” Currently, Gardner’s primary water source is Hillsdale Lake, and Gardner Lake serves as a secondary source.
This year, Kramer said, the public works department, working with consulting engineers, recently completed the required dam safety inspection and submitted it to the Division of Water Resources. DWR has determined that the inspection and report satisfy the requirements in K.S.A. 82a-301 through 305a.  DWR encouraged the city to implement the following recommendations found in the report:
–  The City of Gardner must obtain a permit from DWR before beginning construction on the service spillway, submitting a completed application, plans and specifications to DWR.
–  Remove trees, brush, and other undesirable vegetation from the embankment.-
Rip rap should be added to the upstream slope in order to protect the embankment from erosion
– Animal burrows should be filled with soil and reseeded.
–  Update the emergency action plan and submit any updates to DWR and any other interested parties.
“Our engineer, as part of their scope of work, reviewed the spillway project and provided cost estimates,” Kramer said. “Staff is working on the CIP project, however, it does exceed the previous budget of $300,000.  Staff is working on action plans to comply with the recommendations in the safety inspection.
Gardner Lake was built in 1937. The Gardner Lake Dam classification was changed from significant hazard (Class B) to high hazard (Class C) in 2013. An inspection in 2015 identified failures along the length of the spillway and concluded the spillway needs to be replaced to ensure the integrity of the dam.
Dredging could increase the amount of water in the lake and improve the water quality. The city anticipates about 60,000 cubic yards of sediment will be removed from the lake with the current funding level of $280,000, and additional sediment will be removed as funds allow.
Approximately 55 percent of the Gardner Lake Drainage Area is located within Gardner city.