Fort Dodge council orders Hydroelectric Dam study

Fort Dodge City Council members opted Monday for an accelerated review of the Hydroelectric Dam and its potential role in helping to provide water for the community.

The council voted unanimously to amend an existing contract with McClure Engineering Co., of Fort Dodge, to study the dam at a cost of $44,200.

That’s more than the $17,800 initially expected for the upcoming look at the dam. But according to a report to the council from City Manager David Fierke, the engineering firm will be doing more than what was previously discussed.

City officials talked last month about retaining the company to examine what would have to be done to the dam if water eventually has to be drawn from the Des Moines River to supplement what is now pumped from wells.

During those discussions, Councilman Mark Taylor called for a more aggressive schedule that would yield a quicker recommendation on an overall approach to the dam.

In response, Fierke presented the council with two options: the $17,800 one that basically addressed the water supply issue and the more encompassing $44,200 option the governing body approved.

Under that option, the company will perform these chores:

  • Examine the existing conditions of the dam and river.
  • Project what the future condition of the dam and river may be.
  • Evaluate alternatives for the dam.
  • Prepare a conceptual master plan for the dam.
  • Create schematic drawings.
  • Identify possible sources of money to pay for work on the dam.
  • Meet with representatives of the Iowa Department of natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The engineers’ work is expected to take 17 weeks to complete.

Taylor isn’t waiting for the report to offer his thoughts on the dam and the river.

”I’d like to see a body of water out there that’s equal to the size that it was,” he said.

He added that he wants a ”water route” around the dam.

”My preference is not lowering the dam by 5 feet,” he said.