Manawa City Council votes for short-term drawdown
At the city council meeting on Monday, April 16, City Clerk Cheryl Hass informed the council about a meeting that took place Thursday, April 12 regarding the dam. Mayor Debby Nolan, Frank Jaeger of the Department of Public Works, Paul Radinikas and Jereme Klassy from North American Hydro, Tom and Barb Plante from Hydro Consulting, Inc., and Hass took part in the meeting.
She said North American Hydro has split ownership between Bill Harris and Charles Alsberg. The new company is called Eagle Creek Renewable Energies. The services will remain the same.
Discussion during the meeting involved the scope of work to be performed, upstream repairs, downstream repairs, any work the city wanted to do while the water is drawn down, lost energy costs, and no charge unless the city does a drawdown for a longer period of time needed for the repairs to be done.
Hass also said North American Hydro will donate time to help the city during the repair phase, costs of surveys and studies, and the PFMA study with FERC. The DNR and the Fish and Wildlife organization need to be involved because of endangered species, especially the snuff box mussel.
Volunteers will also be needed to watch for stranded fish on the banks during the drawdown. The State Historical Society also comes in after the drawdown to look for environmental and preservation issues. The city has to pay $5,000 for that.
The city has tentatively set a date of the week of June 18 for the PFMA session.
If residents have any history or photos of the dam over the years, the city is requesting this information as it might help with the repair process.
The city will request a loan from the Wisconsin State Trust Fund for between $200,000 and $400,000 to pay for the repairs to the dam.
A follow-up meeting will be held on Monday, May 21 at City Hall. Public meetings will be held to keep residents informed.
Discussion of how long of a drawdown should take place ensued. The cost of a long-term drawdown was a major concern to council members. Both Joel Bonikowske and Lincoln O'Brien said they have done some research and found that a long-term drawdown is usually beneficial for only a few years.
Bonikowske moved to do a drawdown for the amount of time needed to fix the dam, and not to do a long-term drawdown. O'Brien seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
A public hearing was held regarding amending Ordinance 147-15 - Malt Beverages and Intoxicating Liquors Closing Hours.
Chief David Walker stated that the city must adjust the city ordinance to reflect changes to new state statutes. Later in the meeting the ordinance was amended and passed to comply with state statutes, changing the hours of sale for Class A enclosed container alcohol selling hours from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Tim Trull, vice president of the Manawa Chamber, informed the council the chamber has approved spending $2,000 to purchase playground equipment, and asked the city to install the equipment to save on costs. It was decided the city would get the donation, purchase the equipment and install the equipment.
The council moved to amend a motion from Nov. 21, 2011 and withdraw the offer of the sale of the clinic for $1 because of no interest or activity from ThedaCare. The motion carried.
Hass said there is $52,860.84 in the General Fund. The city will have to tap into its short-term borrowing to accommodate payment of bills.
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