Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
The council approved repair to the Gardner Lake dam and dredging of the lake for a total cost of $780,000 at their Jan. 17 meeting.
Michael Kramer, public works director, reported that the State Division of Conservation (DOC) had responded to a June 2016 city request for funding.
DOC will 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.
State funds can only be used for dredging and require matching funds from the city.
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 city would pay $300,000 for the spillway repair. Kramer said that would count as matching funds. The city plans to debt finance the matching funds.
Dredging will 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.
Four Gardner Lake residents addressed the council during public comments, including past and present Gardner Lake Association (GLA) presidents, Harold Quantance and Larry Desmarteau.
Speakers indicated support of the project.