Where to store Shell Rock River Watershed District’s dredge?

Published 9:41 am Friday, October 5, 2012

With the purchase of a dredge now complete, Shell Rock River Watershed District officials next week will begin looking at where to store the machinery until dredging begins.

Watershed District Administrator Brett Behnke said there are several building locations that the district could rent for storage; however, with the cost of the storage, officials will discuss whether to build a structure instead.

There is also a third option of storing the dredge on a trailer.

Email newsletter signup

Watershed officials purchased the 51-foot 2010 IMS 7012 HP Versi dredge during an auction Sept. 24 at Ritchie Bros. in Owatonna. The dredge was purchased for $340,000 and the equipment was purchased for $435,000.

The machinery will be used to remove sediment from Fountain Lake and is estimated to cost about $143 per hour to operate, including labor and fuel costs.

Community members got their first peek at the machinery on Wednesday in the parking lot near the new Edgewater Bay Pavilion.

“There was a great turnout, lots of excitement and great community support,” Behnke said. “Everybody’s been waiting for this to happen.”

The purchase is a major step toward the district’s goal 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.

The district’s board of managers will meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Albert Lea City Council Chambers to discuss the options.