Pigeon Lake board rejects bid to remove metal

Tie vote means proposal won’t go forward

Grace Kirchner Leader correspondent

The Pigeon Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District Board Wednesday voted not to accept the bid for $150,000 to remove metal debris from the lake.

The estimate was subject to contingency upon the charge order from Haas and Son of Thorp. Only one bid had been received for the project.

At its regular meeting, board member Rick Waite made the motion to accept the bid, which was seconded by President Dennis Kussman. The bid was for dredging and metal cleanup at Mathew’s Bay.

The metal is from a junk dealer that was located in the area many years ago. Board members have located some of the metal with a metal detector. “You can even see an old sink sticking up out there,” said Myron Radtke.

When the vote was taken it ended up a tie, therefore it failed. Voting to accept the bid for $150,000 were Waite, Kussman, and Gerald Honish. Voting no were Jim Prickette, Myron Radtke, and Tammy Strey-Hirt. Board member Glenn Lundt was absent.

“I feel we’re losing either way. I don’t like spending so much money for what we would get and don’t like losing the opportunity to get stuff out of there that has been there for 90 years. This is so hard to leave it,” said Strey-Hirt.

Strey-Hirt referred to an opportunity to clean up the site while the pond is drained. The pond was drained last fall to allow for dam repairs required by the state Department of Natural Resources. Plans are to begin refilling the pond in early May. That leaves a small window of time to get the project completed if the board decided to proceed.

“I guess we are putting it on the shelf,” said Kussman as he expressed his disappointment of the vote.

“It’s a lot of money for so little,” said Prickette.

Peter Haug, financial representative from Ayres Associates, did not think the bid from Haas was out of line with industry. Haas would have removed metal and debris from an about an acre. Haug said that the district would actually be spending $83,000 for base set up, plus $10 per yard being removed until it reached the $150,000.

Haug said that Maas planned to haul by truck around the clock for four days. The material would be frozen. “No sediment can leave the site if it is not frozen,” said Haug.

“The DNR will probably be on hand from day one. There was a lot of public outcry on this project,” said Haug.

The DNR approved the permit for a dredging project for PLPRD, however it comes with 30 strict conditions that must be met. Haag noted there are more conditions than he usually sees.

As for what comes next, Kussman said after the meeting, that they will find ways to get some of the metal out of Mathew’s Bay. Any wood that is removed from the lake must be put back.

Several board members say they are willing to remove some of the metal by hand.

About a half dozen citizens attended the meeting Wednesday night, while it was standing room only as several earlier meetings.