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Dam repairs top $50,000

February 12, 2014 - Goodrich-On Monday night the village council OK'd a pair of proposals to help rectify the leaky century-old village dam.

By a vote of 5-0 the village council moved forward with a proposal from Midland-based Gerace Construction for $43,925 to begin in early spring to determine the cause and repair the leaching village dam.

Details of the process include removal of the westernmost watergate to drain the mill pond, excavate down about 13 feet (approximately 70 cubic yards of material), and repair leaking joints on both the north and south sides of Hegel Road.

In addition, the council also OK'd 5-0, for WadeTrim to assist in obtaining permits, contractor coordination, site observation and documentation of the project. The cost to the village is an additional $8,000 according to the agreement.

"It is noted that any immediate mitigation measures implemented will not result in a long-term solution," explained Jason Kenyon, engineer and vice-president for Wade Trim, in a letter to the council. "It is recommended that the village continue to plan and work toward funding a long-term solution for the dam consistent with the Michigan Department of Enviroment Quality requirements. Multiple field reviews were conducted in December with village representatives, engineers, and an experienced contractor to further investigate the current site conditions and develop a cost effective approach to complete short-term mitigation measures for the dam."

Kenyon suggested a possible dam leaking point that will be explored is where the new Hegel Road bridge was completed in 2007 by Walter Toebe Construction at a cost of $498,000. The State of Michigan covered about 95 percent of the costs of the bridge engineered by WadeTrim.

"The point where the new bridge meets the old road could be a primary source where water is coming through," he told the council.

The seepage was realized after a village DPW worker and others reported sinkholes in the soil embankment just east of the spillway. There were at least two instances of where the soil gave way under foot. There were no injuries. The sinkholes are an indication of a breach from the century-old dam suspected by village officials and dam engineers.

The needed repairs to the aging structure are among several that require attention by the village.

In the spring of 2012 the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality inspected the century-old village dam and required some significant repairs to the structure. Then, only three of the five wooden floodgates, which move up and down to regulate the amount of water and the level of the mill pond, were operational. Two of the gates remained stationary. The state inspector required the village to remove the two stationary gates and replace them with moveable gates. Following the approval of the MDEQ, the village DPW cut about three feet off the top of the two 8-foot stationary watergates, which will allow the necessary flow over the dam in the event of a major water event. Those top sections of the watergates were left in place and will be removed if necessary.

The need, say MDEQ officials, is to allow sufficient water to pass through if heavy rains were to occur. Whether the dam can be modified to meet the requirement for water flow is the MDEQ's concern.

According to the Association of Michigan Dam Safety, of the 1,019 state regulated dams, 88 have a high hazard potential, 132 have a significant hazard potential and 799 have a low hazard potential.

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