CTY HH to close for McDill Dam repair - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

CTY HH to close for McDill Dam repair

Posted:

UPDATE - As part of the schedule to repair the McDill Dam, County Highway HH in Portage County will be closed starting October 8th. 

The project is expected to be completed by mid to late November.  According to a press release by the City of Stevens Point, some minor landscaping is scheduled to be done by the spring if necessary.

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PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW)-- A final plan has been approved to repair the McDill Dam. Tuesday night, the Portage County Board of Supervisors voted to give money to help restore the pond. They are one of three groups splitting the cost.

"There's nothing there anymore," Tonna Ambrosius said of the now dry McDill Pond. She and her husband bought waterfront property in 2001, but they've had a barren field for a backyard since July.

"We bought this house because we were right on the pond," she said.

But Ambrosius hopes that won't last much longer, because a plan to fix the dam has been approved. 

"We need to get this thing fixed and the vote tonight confirmed that," Portage County Supervisor Lonnie Krogwold said after Tuesday's vote. The board voted to give up to $147,000 dollars to fix the dam. The Lake District and the city of Stevens Point will also contribute equal amounts once the final cost is determined. The rest will be covered by a DNR grant.

Some people who live in the county argued at Tuesday's meeting that the cost shouldn't fall on taxpayers, but Krogwold said if the vote had failed, they could have ended up paying even more. "If we did not have the three party agreement, we as a county could spend up to $325,000 dollars on our own to fix the dam so that the road is safe."

Some board members who voted for funding the repair also complained the dam was built incorrectly in the first place. 

"We probably can't sue anyone, we may never be able to and we probably never will recoup any money on it, but we're going to get this thing fixed, now, and do it right," Krogwold said.

Board members said they plan to have highway officials monitor the entire repair process, to make sure it is done correctly.

Ambrosius said she hopes the dam can be fixed soon, so she can enjoy her waterfront property again. "When you come out here at night and you sit on your porch deck and there's no water, it's just not the same," she said.

Portage County board members didn't set a timeline for fixing the dam, but Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson told Newsline 9 he hopes repairs can be made over the summer, so that water can be back in the pond by Labor Day.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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