Bid for dredging lake channel amounts to $277,000

The cost of dredging the outlet for Lake Independence is expected to amount to $277,000, with the cities of Independence and Medina, the Lake Independence Citizens Association and Three Rivers Park District picking up the tab.

Independence resident Jerry Wise reported this information to the Independence City Council, Tuesday, Jan. 22. Wise is Independence’s liaison to the Pioneer Sarah Creek Watershed Commission.

The Watershed Commission hired Hakanson Anderson and Associates, a water resources consulting firm, to study what needs to be done to improve water flow through the outlet from Lake Independence. In recent years, Lake Independence stakeholders have been making improvements to the shoreline to reduce and prevent erosion. But high water levels and boat wakes have been threatening to wash these improvements away.

The Watershed Commission and Hakanson Anderson have investigated as a solution dredging the channel, which has become increasingly clogged with vegetation and sediment. The idea is to move water through the channel more quickly and keep the water level in the lake from getting too high.

Wise said the Watershed Commission has opened bids for the dredging, but neighbors surrounding the channel must give their permission for the contractor to be on their land. Two neighbors gave their permission at the commission’s Jan. 15 kick-off meeting for its third generation plan.

Once all the property owners give their approval, the Watershed Commission can search for sources of funds. Wise did not expect that grant money would be available, but project planners are checking into potential grants.

A major undertaking for the Pioneer Sarah Creek commission is drafting its third generation plan, which must be completed towards the end of 2014, Wise said. The commission is forming three advisory committees to expedite the process — a technical committee, citizens committee and policy makers committee. A public meeting is being planned for late March or early April, and watershed commissioners would like to see a large turnout of interested citizens.

Wise also reported that Jim Kujawa, of Hennepin County Environmental Services, has developed a model manure management ordinance. He would like cities to adopt the ordinance. However, regulations in the county ordinance are more restrictive than those in the state ordinance. So Kujawa is consulting attorneys about ways to tweak the county version.



The City Council approved rezoning of property located at 2076 County Rd. 90 from AG Agricultural to CLI Commercial Light Industrial. The rezoning will enable A + D Properties LLC and Donald Baird to spread compost on the property. Before A + D and Baird can begin composting, they must submit a proposal to city staff, who will inform the applicants about conditions and restrictions. The compost will be collected as part of the applicants’ landscape business.

In other actions, the City Council:

APPROVED a minor subdivision to permit a lot line re-arrangement between properties at 3826 Independence Road and 3858 Independence Road. Property owners are Carla J. Smith and James W. and Mary R. Smith.

SET the date of the Board of Appeal and Equalization for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at Independence City Hall. At this meeting property owners can start the process of appealing their property appraisals that will be used for the purpose of determining property taxes.

APPOINTED Mayor Marvin Johnson and City Council Linda Betts as Independence’s representative to the Police Commission.