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Lock and dam project moving ahead

The Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission discussed at length the Lock and Dam No. 10 construction project during its meeting Thursday.

Ben Webster, a project manager with Stantec Consulting, gave a presentation about the project.

Webster said the lock and dam were in major need of renovations, and the project has been discussed since the 1990s. The new project has a 50-year design life guaranteed, Webster said. The dam will also be designed for a potential six foot rise.The project will keep parts of the existing lock and dam and will add a cylindrical structure.

“The new dam is big enough so that down the line if somebody wanted to come down and raise the pool, the structure would be able to hold that extra water,” Webster said.

The new dam will be placed 150 feet away from the WMU intake location; the current dam sits 250 feet away.

Several commissioners were concerned about the depth of the pool changing over time due to sediment collecting at the bottom. Mayor Ed Burtner was worried WMU’s intake could be in jeopardy if the depth of the pool were to change over time.

However, Webster and his team assured the commissioners, the depth of the pool would stay relatively consistent as the sediment slopes off.

Bids for the project will be opened this week. It is expected to start in the summer and is estimated to be completed by 2021.

In other action, the commissioners:

— recognized engineering technician Danny Banks who is retiring after working for WMU for 20 years.

— approved two purchase of new vehicles.

— approved raises for two employees.

— accepted voluntary resignation of one employee.

— discussed the update on the Solids Processing Facility upgrades. WMU is now beginning the process of selecting two companies to perform pilot studies at the Strode Creek WWTP.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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