A Marion Boy Scout asked Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin one day why Luta Creek (Mud Creek) couldn’t be a recreational outlet for boating.
“It’s kind of a funny story,” Kjellin told a group at the Marion City Council meeting Friday. “I got raked over the coals by an 11-year-old because there is no water going through town.”
But Kjellin took the youth seriously and, incorporating the help of water and streets director Marty Fredrickson and a few other city employees, they went to investigate the problem.
“Theoretically, if we could get some of the tree obstacles (out of the way) and a fresher flow of water, then there’s really no reason why it couldn’t be another recreation point the city could claim,” he said.
In addition, Kjellin said there’s a good launch point west of Central Park with grass all the way to the water’s edge.
“The idea would be to get a paddle boat down there on a Saturday afternoon and just putter around.
Kjellin said city crews first went out with a large air compressor used to blow cracks out in the street and a 40-foot stinger cord and got down to the inlet on the north side of the lagoon.
“We got a little bit of water coming through,” he said, but it was then decided to try pumping 5,000 gallons down the chute.
Following the Marion Chamber meeting, Kjellin and other city employees pumped the water straight down the chute where the gate values are, forcing the water out on both ends.
By Monday, Kjellin said there were still some slight obstructions in front of the grate, but they did have water flowing through the conduit and into the old Mud Creek canal.
“That canal is the stream that runs through the center of town by Central Park,” he said. “Right now there is a small trickle going through.”
Although the creek still needs a lot of work, Kjellin said last week’s first steps in unblocking the sluice gate could be the beginnings of cleaning it up for future use.