Archived Story

Dredge to be on display Wed. at city park

Published 9:50am Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Albert Lea residents are invited to get their first peek Wednesday of the dredge purchased by the Shell Rock River Watershed District.

The 51-foot 2010 IMS 7012 HP Versi dredge is slated to be on display at Edgewater Park near the pavilion from 4 to 6 p.m. Staff of the Shell Rock River Watershed District and members of the recently re-formed Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea will be in attendance to answer questions.

“We’re super excited,” said Laura Lunde with the Lakes Foundation. “The last two weeks, it’s been very exciting.”

The watershed district purchased the dredge, pumps, pipes and other equipment Sept. 24 during an auction at Ritchie Bros. in Owatonna. The dredge was purchased for $340,000 and the equipment was purchased for $435,000.

Lunde said the purchase of the dredge is a crucial step for the watershed’s 10-year comprehensive plan to restore lake quality and habitat in Fountain Lake and other area lakes.

The next steps in the project include engineering, permitting, land acquisition and securing supplemental funding to support the project.

As a kickoff to this portion of the project, Lunde said the Lakes Foundation is sponsoring a Name the Dredge contest. For $10, people can suggest a name for the machinery.

When selected, the name will appear on the side of the dredge as it operates on the area lakes.

All money raised from the contest will go toward restoration efforts.

“The Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea is eager to be a part of this effort and to support the watershed district and its partners as they move toward the long-term goal of restoring Fountain and other area lakes,” a news release stated. “This is an exciting time for the entire community.”

She said the foundation began talking about reforming again about two months ago and is re-establishing itself as a 501(c)3. The group disbanded in April 2011. A remnant of about four people pretty much had been left holding up a group that normally numbered about 25 and at one time had about 50 members.

“The need is definitely there,” Lunde said.