The pieces of the dredging puzzle are fitting together for the Lake Improvements Commission after an agreement was reached this week to use the Wetherell spoil site for continued dredging this summer.
The announcement was made after an "agreement in principal" was reached with the Wetherell Trust to use that site for dredge material in the summer of 2003, according to Gary Lalone, chair of the Lake Improvements Commission.
The Wetherell spoil site is located on farmland south of the lake near the Stoney Point neighborhood.
"We are very excited and pleased about the cooperation with the City of Storm Lake, City of Lakeside, Buena Vista County, LPA, and the Wetherell Trust on this project for the summer of 2003," said Lalone. "It has been a team project since the beginning and it will continue to be a team effort going forward. With the signing of this agreement the dredging project becomes a reality this summer."
During the summer of 2002, the state dredging project removed 1.32 million cubic yards of silt from Storm Lake and deposited it in the Wetherell site, according to Julie Sievers of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
An engineer has been looking into the spoil site to determine how much more can go into it, she said.
Storm Lake City Administrator John Call said they believe an additional 385,000 to 550,000 cubic yards could fit at that site. He said he hopes that's a conservative estimate.
"It will definitely keep the local dredging operation busy in the summer of 2003," Call said.
With cold weather over the past several weeks, water has not been released from the spoil site.
"Right now we're waiting for temperatures to moderate some," Sievers said.
There is still clean water to release back into the lake.
"We're continually seeing silt settle out and water coming up," Sievers said.
The Storm Lake project includes dredging 1,500 acres over the next five to 10 years, as part of a collaborative effort between the Lake Preservation Association, City of Lakeside, City of Storm Lake and Buena Vista County.
The State of Iowa has allocated $200,000 this fiscal year for the project. The Lake Preservation Association continues its fundraising efforts for this project.