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Subject: Special Meeting - Shell Rock River Watershed District

A special meeting was held by the SRRWD to discuss several key issues facing the Board of
Managers. Here is a summary:

1. Rapid Dewatering vs. Confined Detention Facility
a. Barr Engineering is currently on hold. They have no engineering contract in place at this
time. They are waiting on the SRRWD to act on a $446,000 proposal to bring the
Dredging project through 90% design and permitting (with an additional $100,000 fee if
an Environmental Impact Statement is needed). Barr needs the district to select a
method of dewatering. As you may already know, these are the two methods:
i. Confined Detention Facility (CDF) This is a traditional process where a dike is
built around a large piece of land (approximately 160 acres would be needed
within 5 miles of town) where the dredged material is pumped and the large
particles like sand and silts are removed from the water. Unfortunately, due to
the properties of the dredged material from Fountain Lake and the strict
permitting guidelines expected, a treatment facility will need to be installed and
operated after primary settling to polish the water before returning it to the
lake. The return water will be cleaner than the water already in the lake.
ii. Rapid Dewatering System (RDS) A modular treatment train that dewaters the
sediment at the lakes edge (or other site close to the lake) and produces a
truckable material that can be spread, stockpiled, or otherwise disposed of as
weak fill (non-buildable), possible soil amendment, or topsoil.
b. Barr Engineering presented two scenarios for CDF. One included a CDF facility within 3
miles of the lake, and one within 5 miles of the lake. The extra two miles of distance
would add $5 million in cost. They also presented two scenarios for RDF. One included
onsite disposal of the solids (placing the material permanently on the treatment site
(approximately 50 acres 15 deep would be needed) and the other option included costs
to truck the material off the treatment site to a location within 5 miles. The material
would then be dumped and not spread. This is not a very viable option in my opinion
because I dont believe there are enough end users willing to accept that volume of
material without any spreading and placement provisions.
c. The four options were all developed using similar assumptions and were meant to be a
conservative estimate of the total project costs under each scenario. The total project
costs ranged from $34 million to $44 million. This far exceeds the $15 million dollar
price tag the District has been using. None of the options include the use of the
Districts Dredge, booster pumps, or piping. This was a frustrating detail to the
managers because they purchased the dredge based on the assumption it would save
the district money. The actual act of removing the material from the lake is only
estimated to be 20% to 26% of the total cost of the project. Barr Engineering believes
the project can be accomplished more efficiently using a larger dredge (14). This would
lead to a dredging project that would take approximately 2 years assuming 24 hour, 6
day per week operation from June through October of each season. If the Districts
dredge was used it would take 5-7 years to complete the work. The extended portion of
time to complete the work would lead to higher prices for land leases/easements,
maintenance and operating costs of the equipment, etc. The savings of using the
Districts own dredge may be lost to inefficiencies in other areas.
d. One of the major costs that are now being included in the project cost estimates is a
water treatment facility to treat the return water from a CDF before it reaches the
lake. This facility is estimated to cost $10,000,000, plus $1,000,000 for engineering, and
$420,000 in operation and maintenance of the facility. These costs are necessary due to
the strict water quality requirements foreseen by Barr that will be imposed by the
permitting authorities.
e. I have attached the spreadsheet showing the cost breakdowns for each of the various
f. I believe the District will be asking several important questions of the City:
i. Can the water treatment facility be constructed in such a way that it could serve
a beneficial use to the City after it has served the needs of the District. This
would be either a wastewater pretreatment system or improvements to our
ii. Is there property near the landfill or airport that could be used as a site for an
RDS and permanent placement of dredged spoil materials.
iii. Depending on where an RDS process was staged, what are the possible
implications when damage to local roads occurs due to the heavy hauling
activities that will follow.
g. I believe the District will be asking Barr to:
i. Complete a project cost estimate with the assumption that a contractor would
use the equipment currently owned by the District and no additional dredges.
2. Stables Flood Mitigation Project
a. The Commissioner of the DNR has stated the district will not receive another extension
for the money they received unless there is movement on the project. Therefore the
District motioned to distribute RFPs for a design firm to complete the design work
necessary to produce bidding documents. These proposals are due back before the next
board meeting. The board plans to take action at that meeting awarding a design
contract for the work. This will allow them to show progress to the DNR and receive
another extension (this would be their fourth annual extension).
b. The District would use this project as their political pressure towards the County to
move ahead with assistance to make the sewer and water portion of the project a
3. SWCD Cost Share
a. Mark Schaetzke from SWCD requested the District provide $5,000 towards a feed lot
pollution prevention project where a feedlot is discharging water near upper or lower
Twin lake. The SWCD saw an opportunity to increase treatment beyond the NPDES
requirements and have a great impact on water quality. The District was reluctant to
provide the assistance because of the worry there will be many more requests by
feedlots to participate and they are already stretched thin. The money would come
from the $50,000 cost share program they already have in place. This is a program I
dont believe they exhaust every year.
4. County Ditch Petition
a. The petition has still not been received by the District and they are not taking
action. They anticipate the request will be for the District to accept authority over a
ditch that land owners want improved. The District doesnt have this authority
anywhere else in the county, they have always let the County handle all ditch law and