One plan to make the Flandreau dam safer, while preserving fishing, will get additional design work as the city council looks to narrow its options.
The council voted to pay Barr Engineering to show more of the design plans for a mitigation option, called 1B, that would refine the design, project impacts and estimate costs. The dam removal plan, with a possible cost of $1.42 million, calls for taking out the dam and sediment, bank regrading, improving angler access, rocks for j-hooks and rock vanes, temporary erosion control, restoring the site and other work.
By asking the engineering company to take the plan to the 30 percent design level, the council is not committed to this particular option and plans to seek community ideas once the design has more details to show.
“We are early into this process before any final decisions are made on anything,” said Mayor Dan Sutton. But the council needs something concrete to show people.
The council voted unanimously to ask for additional design work. Alderman Bob Pesall was absent from the meeting.
The plan hits two of the most important factors the council has been looking at with the project: Additional safety with the removal of the low-head dam that creates a “death pool” and preservation of fishing habitat.
Some council members expressed interest in making the area attractive to white water paddlers, but Barr Engineering would need to consult with other experts to add that part to a plan. The idea of adding features, including the possibility of camping, has not been eliminated at this point.
Some of the planning also will need to include what will happen to the Crescent Street bridge in the future. The city has a grant that will be used to tear out the bridge, which will then go the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe for some type of replacement. Previous plans have included installing a walking bridge, but nothing is definite yet.
“I think everybody recognizes there are other improvements that could be made down there,” said Jeff Pederson, city administrator.