DNR marina work to begin, and a $350,000 grant for dredge
Little Storm Lake could be next on the list for dredging, the community Lake Improvement Commission learned Monday.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources Senior Environ- mental Specialist Julie Sievers told the Commission the dredging may be the best of several options to help improve water quality in Little Storm Lake which acts as a filter for the larger lake. "I think given the site-specific conditions we'll end up dredging," Sievers told the commission.
It will require approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, though, before work of any sort can proceed. That approval is being delayed by the Corps' work in repairing the damage from Hurricane Katrina.
Sievers said obtaining federal funding through the Corps will be the next step. Sievers said Corps scientists are continuing to study Little Storm Lake.
They hope to determine whether dredging, increasing water levels, or a dam with a water control structure between Little Storm Lake and Storm Lake would be the best option. Raising the water level of Little Storm Lake does not seem a viable option, Sievers said.
"We have several things that would be drastically impacted by raising the water," Sievers said.
Still, something needs to be done to improve the quality of water going between Little Storm Lake and the larger lake.
Sievers said on a recent site inspection, clean water entered Little Storm Lake from Powell Creek but the outflow to Storm Lake was "significantly" worse.
In another matter, Sievers said the DNR may need to have the commission dredge out 10,000 cubic yards of material from the marina area, not including an island in the marina that is to be removed. She said the DNR would pay to have the spoil removed.
"Ideally we would dredge this fall," Sievers said. "Ideally the island would come out this fall."
City of Storm Lake Public Works Director Pat Kelly said a total of 413,000 cubic yards of material have been removed so far this dredging season in the city dredging project.
Kelly said this year's total would be "close" in matching last year's total of 677,000 cubic yards, despite time lost recently to repairs.
Kelly said the dredge had gone to a total depth of 13 to 16 feet in the southeast corner of the lake. "Water quality is improving on the east site," Kelly said.
In another matter, LIC Chair Gary Lalone said the Lake Protection Association will hold a ribbon cutting at the east spoil site 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21. Lalone said there will be boat tours of the dredging area 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25.
Treasurer Patti Moore told the Commission that it had received a $350,000 grant from the DNR. Moore said the matching grant requires that the city spend $600,000 before receiving the final $50,000.