In May of last year, the dam on Patterson Road in Orangeville Township almost failed when erosion underneath the dam created a hole, threatening the dam and the road.
County Drain Commissioner Russ Yarger and County Road Commission Director Brad Lamberg were notified of the problem about 3 p.m. and with the help of the road commission, Orangeville and Yankee Springs fire departments, Barry County Emergency Management and the local gravel pit, an emergency fix was completed about midnight that day.
The process to for a permanent repair begins with engineeering studies. With two companies equally qualified to do design and engineering on the repair of the dam, Barry County Commissioners Tuesday selected the most “user friendly” to the community.
A workgroup with supervisors from the affected townships, a Barry County commissioner, road commission manager, drain commissioner and Administrator Michael Brown reviewed the statements of qualifications submitted by six companies, interviewed four and narrowed their choice to two, Brown said.
Both companies, Land Resources, Inc and GEI were equally qualified to deliver professional engineering services related to evaluation, maintenance, design and repair of the Gun Lake Dam, which controls the Gun Lake level, he said. With no firm recommendation from the workgroup, he asked the commission to make its choice between the two.
Commissioner Vivian Conner, who was in the workgroup, recommended Land Resources, Inc, because of its continuing good relationship and interactions with the community.
“They are very, very user friendly with the public and working with neighbors. They listen to their concerns,” Conner said. “I would recommend them.” The next step is for Brown to work out an agreement with L&R on the scope of the project, time frame and cost.
The question by Commissioner Jon Smelker on how the county came to be the owner of the lake level control dam is lost to the past. Records going back to the early 1900’s confirm that the county does own it, but not why.