Marion County Commission learns of additional work needed done at lake dam



A county permit application for erosion repairs at the Marion County Park and Lake Dam was the topic of discussion at the Marion County Board of Commissioners special meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26. The commissioners, County Clerk Tina Spencer and Park & Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett were joined via teleconference by Brian Severin and Curtis Janssen of Sustainable Environmental Consultants, Kansas Division of Water Resources personnel Terry Medley, Dam Safety Program Manager Ambrose Ketter, Dam Safety Team Leader Zack Rust, Water Structures Engineer Leonard Bristow and US Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Specialist Lee Wolf. Planning/Zoning/Environmental Health Director Sharon Omstead was also present for portions of the meeting.

It was brought to the County’s attention that the Kansas Division of Water Resources (KDWR)

would like the County to clear out the stream channel and excavate around the current area around the burp hole so that the pipe is above the water level and may be monitored. This is work that has not previously been planned by the County. Much of the stream channel is on property that is not owned by Marion County.

After a lengthy discussion, Chairman Dave Mueller indicated that Marion County is dedicated to the safety of the dam. The KDWR staff said they would like at least a verbal commitment from the county that the additional matters brought to light at this meeting will be investigated and addressed in the future. It might be added to the current permit as a condition. The board was interested

in seeing the language of that condition prior to final permitting, and also would like to have an engineer’s estimate of cost for the proposed additional work. In order to move forward with the additional work, there would need to be an agreement with the adjoining landowner.

Hett expressed that this is a separate issue from the erosion repairs that this permit was requested for two years ago, and that the continual delay in permitting this project has allowed that erosion to get worse.

The commissioners reiterated that the county wants to make the repairs on that erosion as soon as possible to keep the dam safe.

Commissioner Randy Dallke was asked to contact the adjoining landowner regarding the KDWR request. Dallke suggested that Commissioner Dave Crofoot and Hett also be involved in the conversation.

The topic will be revisited at the next commission meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

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