A view of the dam

A view of the Indianford Dam.

The Rock-Koshkonong Lake District (RKLD) Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Dec. 3 to hire Madison-based Mead and Hunt to design a supplemental gated spillway system using a crest gate at the Indianford dam.

During a board of commissioners meeting held Dec. 3, RKLD Commissioner Mike Shumaker said the board had received two proposals in response to a request for proposals, which opened in October and closed Nov. 18.

Proposals were submitted by Mead and Hunt and Ashwaubenon-based Ayers Associates, Shumaker said.

The request outlined work to be completed in three phases and indicated the board’s interest in installing a Tainter gate, an option recommended to commissioners by Wild Rose Machine Shop LLC owner and dam technician Chris Cutts, who saw the option as an inexpensive alternative for moving water while reducing reliance on a trash rack system to catch river-borne debris.

In its proposal, Mead and Hunt recommended that the board consider using a crest gate instead of a Tainter gate. In an email shared with board members, Mead and Hunt Water Resources Project Manager Jeff Anderson wrote that “the configuration for a radial (Tainter) gate at Indianford would be a bit challenging due to how quickly the tailwater level comes up during high flow events. Due to this complexity, we would need to design a radial gate ‘in-house’ instead of providing a performance specification for a contractor-designed gate.”

Moving to the crest gate also would save money, Anderson wrote, noting a base fee, as included within the proposal, for the radial gate at $82,000, as opposed to a base fee for the crest gate of $63,200.

The difference in cost, Anderson wrote, was “essentially the difference between fully designing a radial gate and preparing a performance specification for a crest gate.”

Hired as an agent to help the board understand submitted proposals, MARS-EOR engineer Rob Montgomery noted in emails to the board that he thought the crest gate was a good alternative. He recommended the board hire Mead and Hunt, and approve the crest gate option.

Montgomery wrote: “The biggest reason I suggested approving Mead and Hunt’s modification approach was that I thought that a crest gate may well provide better operation and maintenance performance than a Tainter gate.” He further cited the approximately $20,000 in savings.

Both proposals offered quotes for the first two phases of the submitted request. The third phase of the request was developed to be addressed by a construction engineer whom the board will hire at a later date, RKLD Chairman Alan Sweeney said.

Quotes for phase 1, defined as field investigation, analysis and schematic design, were as follows: Mead and Hunt: using a Tainter gate, not to exceed $82,000, using a crest gate, $63,200; Ayers: $95,812.

Quotes for phase 2, defined as the preparation of design drawings and a report to be submitted to DNR for their consideration as part of an application for the DNR municipal dam rehabilitation grant, were as follows: Mead and Hunt, within a range of $65,000 to $75,000; Ayers: within a range of $40,000 to $60,000.

According to Sweeney, he, Montgomery and representatives from Mead and Hunt will meet on Dec. 19 to discuss details of the project.

Preparations to apply for the DNR grant were also underway, Sweeney said. The application must be submitted by the end of February Shumaker said.

According to Shumaker, DNR officials have indicated that RKLD could receive as much as $200,000 in grant money to offset costs for dam modifications.

Mead and Hunt have been involved with work performed on the Indianford dam, Shumaker said, noting their involvement with dam maintenance in 2003.

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