Luverne dam project may cost more than anticipatedLUVERNE — Improvements to the Rock River dam are estimated to cost approximately $90,000 more than the anticipated cost-share dollars available, according to Luverne City Administrator John Call. He presented the information to members of the Luverne City Council during a work session Tuesday night.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
LUVERNE — Improvements to the Rock River dam are estimated to cost approximately $90,000 more than the anticipated cost-share dollars available, according to Luverne City Administrator John Call. He presented the information to members of the Luverne City Council during a work session Tuesday night.
Call said cost-share dollars amount to roughly $445,000 — including $300,000 for ecosystem improvements, $75,000 for dam safety and $70,000 for fish passage measures.
“The latest estimate that we have is $535,000. We’re probably looking at a city match on this of an estimated $100,000,” Call said. “I was hoping the cost share available would cover 100 percent of it.”
Call told the council the dam is the city’s responsibility and will not last forever. There’s already some cracking and deterioration taking place.
Plans are to replace the existing low-head dam structure with a series of rock riffles — a change that will increase safety at the site.
Doug Bos, assistant director of the Rock County Land Management Office, said the redesign will also include changes that protect a pair of the city’s aquifers located in close proximity to the stream.
“The estimate is fairly high,” said Bos of the project. “There’s a few dollars to be saved in it, but we’ll know that better once we let the bids.”
The project is now going through the permitting process, with completion of the hydrology study next on the list of steps.
Bos said the earliest any work can be completed is after Aug. 15 because of the presence of the endangered Topeka Shiner minnow.
Call said the city may use water, sewer and general fund monies to cover the added costs of the project.
In other business, the council received an update on a couple of rock garden projects that have been completed in Luverne near the ice arena and the Rock County Opportunities building.
Bos, who has also worked with that project, said the rain gardens are being established to help with water quality.
“In the metro area, some neighborhoods have seen an 80 percent reduction in sediment load with the creation of rain gardens,” said Bos, adding they also slow down the water flow.
The rain garden established near the ice arena serves approximately 2.5 acres of impervious area.
“There was a fair amount of water coming from there, and it gets delivered to the Rock River pretty fast,” said Bos.
The rain garden contains nearly 30 shrubs and 50 perennials, which are intended to slow the flow of water.
Bos said their agency is looking for additional opportunities for rain gardens, such as in the area of the old Hatting dump site or in the newer residential developments in the community.
“If we can pull together enough dollars, (we’d like to) allow for some residential program,” he added.