Representative Willie Dove listened to members of the Gardner Lake Association as they shared their views on the spillway, dredging, and algae cleanup. Submitted photo

Kiesa Kay
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner Lake residents rejoiced at the Gardner Lake Association meeting on Oct. 12 when they learned that the long-awaited proposal to repair the spillway landed at the Department of Water Resources for review last week.
“The city is taking responsibility for the spillway,” Steve Shute, Gardner mayor, told the assembled crowd of 80 residents.
After approval for the plans by the Department of Water Resources, which could take 90 to 120 days, the request for bids will begin. In 2018, the city pledged $310,000 for the project, and the remaining funds will come from a general obligation bond, Shute said. A GO bond is secured by the local municipality’s credit and taxing power.
“Construction on the spillway will start in the spring of 2020,” Shute said. “We will do more than scraping and replacing the substrate. We will make a whole new spillway.”
Kansas state representative Willie Dove, Kansas State Representative, expressed his support for the health of Gardner Lake. A cheer went up when he said, “If you are being taxed and the state is taking dollars from you, then you ought to get something for it.”
While glad for progress on the spillway, many Gardner Lake residents asserted that dredging and algae remediation remain to be done.
The Gardner Lake Association Board members offered to form a task force to create and distribute a petition requesting state support for the costs of dredging the lake.
“It is vital that we communicate, and I will do whatever I can to address whatever issues there are,” Rep. Dove said. “The state has a responsibility to Gardner Lake.”
“We need a plan for regular maintenance,” Shute said. “The city cannot take on the burden by itself.”
Although a state grant fell through in 2017, grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and other sources might be available, Larry Desmarteau, Gardner Lake Association president, said. Roads around the lake also have maintenance needs.
More information about the Gardner Lake Association can be found at the website by Blake Larson, IT director, at