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Committee chooses design firm for Lake Leota project

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Gina Duwe
Stacy Vogel
November 3, 2007
— The plan to dredge Lake Leota took another step forward Friday with the selection of an engineering firm to design the project.

The public works committee selected Vierbicher Associates to begin soil samples and design a flexible, cost-efficient plan to return Lake Leota to a recreational lake, Chairman Mason Braunschweig said.


The city drained the lake two years ago, and it has sat empty since.


The city budgeted $50,000 for the project this year, and Vierbicher’s proposal came in at $41,000.


On Tuesday, the public works committee heard presentations from each of four finalist firms. Seven engineering firms had responded to the city’s request for proposals.


Each of the committee’s three members came to the meeting Friday with a different top choice, Braunschweig said.


“We had very good firms that we were looking at, and in essence it came down to presentation styles and also things we thought might be viable for the community,” he said.


Vierbicher proposed conducting a topographic survey and soil sampling before creating a ready-to-bid dredging plan, according to a memo from city Administrator Dan Wietecha.


The design should be done by the end of January, Braunschweig said.


One of the firm’s most important tasks will be creating a reliable cost estimate, Alderman Fred Juergens said. The city has heard informal estimates between $750,000 and $2.5 million, he said.


“What we want them to do is sort of design a path to follow and give us a good solid cost estimate, and then we can decide if we can afford to follow through with it,” he said.


Depending on the cost, the city might put the matter to a referendum, Juergens said.


The firm also must create a design that avoids the problems the lake has had in the past, namely agricultural run-off creating sediment deposits, Braunschweig said.


“We don’t want to put a lot of money in this and then have the same issues that we’ve had in the first place, he said.



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