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Dredge to begin work, but shorthanded

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Weeks behind where the city had hoped to be, the dredging crew hopes to begin making up for lost time with a belated launch next week.

Work will begin on the east side of the lake, and it appears that it will begin shorthanded.

"Everything's back in the water," said Pat Kelly, Infrastructure Superintendent, during the Lake Improvement Commission meeting Tuesday.

A lot of rrewiring work had to be done after the dredge partially sank last fall, Kelly said. It was pulled out of the lake for hull repainting, which included a painstaking process to remove old lead-based primer.

Kelly said the crew is short one person for night work and currently they have no submitted applications. Night dredging runs from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., from March to as late in the season as possible.

Currently the crew has three day shift employees and one night shift employee. Kelly said they hope to find someone to watch the gauges as well as train them to operate the dredge.

Kelly was excited about the new 50 foot push boat that has been purchased to replace an outmoded tug that came with the dredge. "I think it's going to be great. It's going to be a new experience so it's going to take a little bit of time to get used to," he said.

"The lake is looking pretty clear," said city council member Sara Huddleston. "Much better than other years."

Kim Proctor, Watershed Coordinator, announced that they had been approved for REAP Funding and would be spending $11,000 of the funding for a engineered rain garden project.

However, Proctor said the project left them with about $2,500 remaining - June is the end of their fiscal year. They offered available funds on a 75 percent cost share basis to be used for rain gardens for businesses, City projects or private property projects. Proctor said there's a lot of contaminents that get in the water when it runs off things like shingles, so the rain gardens would allow the pollutants to be trapped in the gardens instead of contaminating the lake. Proctor said they would take applications and she would assist those interested in putting in a rain garden. It was also announced that the Lake Preservation Association Annual meeting and picnic would be on July 7 at Sunrise Pointe Golf Course.

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