City seeks grant for dam repairs
Cost estimated to be at least $350,000
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville is moving forward with plans to apply for a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to make repairs to the Pigeon River Dam in 2018.
Clintonville Public Works Director Kray Brown updated the Street Committee at its May 2 meeting on the status of the repairs to the dam.
The information Brown relayed to the committee was from the engineering firm the city hired for the project.
Brown said most of the engineering drawings have been completed.
He added that the engineering firm plans to seek two alternate bids for the project. One will include the replacement of one of the gates on the dam; the other will include the replacement of all three gates on the dam.
A temporary construction easement is something the engineering firm is working on.
“On the east side of the dam it’s worth somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000, depending on what kind of easement we can get,” Brown told the committee. “What that means is we need a construction easement on the east side of the dam so that we can get cranes in and concrete and whatever else.”
Brown said the property owner on the east side of the dam is willing to work with the city regarding an easement.
Access to the east wall is needed, and Brown said the ideal situation would allow concrete trucks to drive up on the east side and use chutes.
The $10,000 to $50,000 savings would come from concrete trucks being able to have access to the east side, as well as a smaller crane being needed for the project.
“There is a significant difference in cost when it comes to that,” Brown said.
Brown told the committee the dam repair project is a $350,000 project if only one gate is replaced, and the seals replaced in the other two gates. If all three gates are replaced, then the cost of the project increases to $440,000.
If the city of Clintonville is approved for a grant through the DNR, up to 50 percent of the cost of the project would be covered by the grant. Brown said if the city replaced only one gate during this project, the DNR would not be interested in approving a grant in the next grant cycle to replace the other two gates.
“They would rather see us do it all at one time,” Brown said.
He added that when there are substantial water flows from upstream in the river it is better to have three gates open instead of just one.
“The reason for that is the turbulence,” Brown said. “If you have just one gate wide open, then a lot of turbulence is actually going against the walls. There is a lot of erosion happening. With three gates open potentially at one time it will keep that flow down so there is no erosion happening on the walls.”
Currently two of the gates on the dam are operable, Brown said. The city isn’t sure if the third gate is operable as it hasn’t been used for at least five years. The third gate is a manual gate, while the other two are electric.
Final plans will be submitted to the DNR by June 1. A 90-day permit review would take place on Sept. 1, with approval of the project by the state of Wisconsin. A 120-day permit review would take place on Oct. 1.
Brown said grant applications will be open Oct. 1-30.
The grants will be awarded between Jan. 15 and April 15, 2018.
In order to try to obtain the best bid prices, the project would be bid out as early in 2018 as possible, Brown said. This would place bid opening sometime in February or March 2018. The earliest a contractor would begin the work on the project would be June 1, 2018.