By Co-Chair Adam Elliott
Where are we at?
1. The land needed to reconstruct the dam has now been transferred from the Sherrard Estate to the Blake Lake Protection & Rehabilitation District (BLPRD).
2. Our Project Engineer — Larry Gotham (Morgan & Parmley, LTD – Ladysmith, WI) has completed all surveys and is currently working on the dam reconstruction plan. Based on the nature of our lake and flowage, it was recommended that the type of dam needed is a rip rap rock chute.
3. The initial estimates for the total cost of the dam reconstruction project was between $100,000 and $150,000.
4. In August, 2015 the BLPRD took out a loan for $150,000 to pay for the project. This loan is from the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands. It is a 5 year loan with an interest rate of 3%. There is no penalty for early payment. The first installment of $32,328 was made in March, 2016.
What is next?
1. Per the plan, Morgan & Parmley are currently finalizing the plans for the dam. This is expected in May.
2. Once these plans are complete, they will be submitted to the DNR to obtain their approval for the project. It is expected that the DNR will take approximately 3 months to get through the approval process, but there is no guarantee on this time frame.
3. Once the project is approved, a request for construction bids will go out. Once the construction company has been identified, reconstruction of the dam will begin. The actual reconstruction of the dam is expected to take a few weeks.
4. We are hoping to complete all construction in the fall of 2016, but the final date will be dictated by when we receive approval from the DNR.
The plan calls for a footbridge to be placed over the dam. We will either use the old foot bridge or construct a new footbridge. This decision will be determined by cost as well as safety. The footbridge will be submitted to the DNR as part of the plan. As a part of the land transfer process, all parties agreed that the dam will be named “The Sherrard Family Dam” and appropriate signage will designate at the site.