Our lake is a public lake, and is a dammed up portion of the Elk River. In the past decade or so, long-term residents had noticed that the lake was filling in more rapidly than it had been in the past. It was becoming unnavigable at one end, and was a safety concern. A resident had taken depth readings of the bottom to help quantify this, however, since it was unscientific, the results unfortunately were not usable with regional agencies. Also, some initial contact was made with a company that had successful dredging projects.
After inviting Mayor Hank Duitsman to one of our Annual Meetings, we were assigned a City representative, Steve Rohlf, Building and Zoning Administrator, to help us pursue the issue.
This changed our progress dramatically. A Lake Orono Sedimentation & Water Quality Task Force was formed in May of 1995 in conjunction with the City, and Mr. Rohlf contacted the appropriate state and local agencies and asked them to attend our meetings.
Our meetings included representatives from:
If the lake was eventually to be dredged, several of these agencies would be involved in the permitting process, and it behooved us to have them on board at the outset so they would know the project intimately.
At our initial meetings, the varying agencies brought us up to speed on the natural processes involved in sedimentation, including erosion and the composition of sediment, which affects water quality and clarity. A lake resident also did research on successful dredging projects, and what those processes entailed. Our legislators discussed the fact that there were no monies to fund dredging, but there may be for water quality.
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