Waldo Mill Pond drawdown to begin in fall

by Abby Lynn Harvey of The Review staff

WALDO- A faulty gate has resulted in the proposal of a full drawdown of the Mill Pond.

The issue was raised by Chuck McCoy, representing the Pond Association, at the Monday evening meeting of the Waldo Village Board. The lake drain gate has been deteriorating for some time and despite efforts to replace it without a drawdown, the Pond Association has concluded that a full drawdown would be the best plan of action.

A drawdown will allow the gate to be replaced with more ease and will also, the association hopes, lower the carp population, aid weed beds and allow the association an opportunity to deepen a few pools.

The board approved the drawdown, which, pending DNR approval, would begin this fall. The process would be a slow drawdown so as not to overwhelm the Hingham Dam downstream.

After months of preparation the Operations and Maintenance manual of the Mill Pond Dam was given DNR approval and subsequent board approval.

The board continues to research options for the needed Dam Failure Analysis, though several of the engineering companies which had been contacted have since backed out of the project.

Eric Otte of J.E. Arthur and Accociates presented an update on the current status of the Depot Street bridge.

The bridge is badly in need of replacement Otte said.

“In my opinion,” he said, “the bridge has failed already.”

Although, of course, the bridge is still standing, it visibly shakes, he said, when a passenger vehicles crosses it. This is particularly disturbing as the bridge is used heavily by Glacier Transit and thus has a large volume of heavy vehicles traveling over it on a regular basis.

The suggestion Otte made for replacement was to install an aluminum box culvert with head walls and wing walls.

“The reason we’re suggesting the product is that from a pricing standpoint it’s relatively similar to the other options,” he said, “The aluminim box culvert is rated for the heavy truck traffic. It comes with the head walls and the wing walls so hydrologically it’s a good product. It channels the water into the structure. It channels the water out of the structure so that eliminates a lot of the erosion problems that you’re having right now.”

The project, if approved, will be budgeted for in the upcoming budget cycle.

Village Clerk John Port raised concerns about the safety of several leaning headstones at the cemetery. He stated that there is one large stone which is leaning and wobbling. He has in the past observed children playing on it and fears that if it were to fall it could injure or kill a child.

Port has looked into companies which will upright the stones, but questions remain about who is financially responsible in these cases.

It was suggested that if the village had the right equipment the work could be done in house.

Roger Hintz addressed the board to express his disappointment in a lack of board attendance – specifically the absence of Village President Lisa Hagenow - at the July 21 dedication of the Norbert E. Hintz Mill Pond Park and sign. Hintz was also disappointed at a lack of press coverage of the event.

Discussion became heated as Hagenow explained that she was unable to attend due to a work conflict.

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