The city of Weyauwega committed $30,000 for the Lake Weyauwega drawdown project.
The motion was approved unanimously by the Weyauwega Common Council Monday night and commits $15,000 from both the city’s 2011 and 2012 budgets.
In addition, the motion was approved with the understanding that Weyauwega Lake Restoration Inc. will proceed with the creation of a lake district for the purpose of maintaining the lake in the future.
“The lake group should be able to cover the payments for 2010,” Howard Quimby told the council Monday.
He and Jim Tolfa attended the council meeting as representatives of Weyauwega Lake Restoration and brought forward the request for funds from the city.
The estimated cost of a drawdown, which could occur as early as this September, is $68,000.
Quimby said most of the $68,000 will reimburse North American Hydro Inc. of Neshkoro for a loss of income during the drawdown. North American Hydro generates electric power by using the dam and will have to suspend its operation during the drawdown.
North American Hydro, in its final letter to the lake group, states that it wants to be paid $8,500 per quarter over a two-year period and wants evidence that the group has enough funds to cover the first 1 1/2 payments.
The lake group has been working to raise funds for the project and expects to net about $10,000 from the raffle it held last weekend. The group is also seeking a letter of credit from a bank.
In asking the city for assistance, Quimby told the council that the lake is an asset – and a problem – to the city, the town of Weyauwega and the region.
A small number of people should not be obligated to clean up the lake, he said.
Last month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources held a public meeting about the proposed drawdown.
If the drawdown does begin this September, the lake would remain dry until next August.
The plan also calls for partial drawdowns in the future, with each of those occurring for a month.
“The DNR is ready to go. The only thing we have to come up with is this commitment with the power company, and there’s a federal permit that has to be approved and that takes 30 days,” Quimby said.
Because the dam produces electricity, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licenses the structure. North American Hydro has to get permission to go outside of its normal operating procedure.
Members of the council spoke in favor of the city committing funds toward the drawdown.
“In my opinion, it’s just as important as the trails when you look at recreational use,” said Jerry Juve.
Weyauwega Lake Restoration representatives plan to again take their request for assistance to the town of Weyauwega. During the group’s first visit there, the town said it would take the request “under advisement,” Quimby said.