City Council Minutes – March 27, 2017

The special meeting of the City Council of the City of Lamberton was held on March 27th, 2017, in the Community Center at 7:00 pm.

Members present for all or part of the meeting were Mayor Bill Schaffran, Councilmembers Darrell Knutson, Terry Neperman, Lydell Sik, Dave Irlbeck and Clerk Flaig.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources various proposals for replacement of the present dam on the Cottonwood River at Kuhar Park.

DNR hydrologist Lucas Youngsma opened the meeting and informed the approximately 30 people present that about five years ago the DNR submitted funding to deal with the dams on the Cottonwood River at the Sanborn Soldiers and sailors Park, the Farmers Gold and Health Club and at Kuhar Park.  The dam at the Sanborn Park was failing and work needed on it.  All three dams were included because of their close proximity.    The DNR received funding last fall and began notifying the dam owners.

At this point in the meeting Youngsma turn over the meeting to Luther Aadland of the DNR.  He is a biologist and deals with the fish habitat in the rivers and how dams can influence fish populations.  He cited a number of instances were dams were removed and riffles were put in which allowed fish to swimming up river.

After his presentation, there was a question and answer period.  One of the main issues was if it was possible for riffles to keep the water at the same level that the dam did.  For Kuhar Park this would mean two or three riffles would be needed. The DNR felt that all three dams could be replaced with the money that is appropriated, however it was noted that until contracts were signed this money could be withdrawn.

The location close to the CSAH 6 bridges was also discussed.  It was felt that this might mean that the riffles would need to be upstream of the present dam site.  It was noted that at other sites, fish and mussel populations improved when the dams were removed or modified.

Sedimentation of the river usually improved when the dams are removed.  Built up sedimentation behind the dam would need to be dealt with.

The next step would be for all three owners to agree to move forward with the project.  At that time the actual design for each site would be made with owner approval.  Engineering and fiscal management would need to be worked out.

Most people expressed the feeling that although they would be sad to see the dam removed the placement of riffles appear to be beneficial.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,                                 Approved,

Steven Flaig, Clerk                                          Bill Schaffran, Mayor