Repair to Gardner Lake dam, and dredging the lake, may be postponed, again.
Two years ago, the Gardner City Council approved debt financing of $300,000 to dredge Gardner Lake, but matching grant funds of $280,000 were not received because the lake is not the city’s main water source. Currently, Gardner’s primary water source is Hillsdale Lake, and Gardner Lake serves as a secondary source.
Repair work on the spill way that was scheduled for 2018 in the city’s Capital Improvements Program has not been completed, and a recently completed engineering report indicates repairs exceed the budgeted amount.
Gardner Lake was built in 1937. The city owns the actual lake, but the majority of the residences around the lake are in unincorporated area.
The road across the spillway is closed. 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.
Unfortunately, Gardner has a long history of postponing basic infrastructure needs: a special sales tax had to be approved to maintain roads and fix potholes; basic sewer services at Gardner Municipal Airport were replaced by an outhouse; and the spillway continues to deteriorate.
It would be hoped elected officials would pay as much attention to the nuts and bolts underpinnings of running thecity as they do to personalities and pomp and circumstance.
Although Gardner Lake is no longer the city’s primary water source, it is an asset to the community – both city and county.
To let it deteriorate until it completely fails thru inaction is not a fiscally responsible decision.