Too much water

Overflowing Lake of the Hills threatens feedlot

Photo by Sabrina Pankratz Lake of the Hills near Garvin does not have a natural outlet, and high water is threatening a nearby feedlot, according to Lyon County officials.

MARSHALL — Water is a great thing until there gets to be too much of it. The Lyon County Board at its regular board meeting Tuesday morning had a discussion about Lake of the Hills.

Commissioner Rick Anderson told the rest of the board that the lake was having problems with high water. The Lake of the Hills is located about 2 miles west of Garvin off of U.S. Highway 59 in Custer Township. The lake is part of the Des Moines River watershed.

He and two commissioners from Lincoln County recently drove to Dead Coon Lake north of Tyler, which is having similar issues, and then to Lake of the Hills.

Lake of the Hills does not have a natural outlet and high water is threatening a nearby feedlot.

The cost of engineering expenses is up to $4,500 for Duane Hansel to come up with possible solutions for overflow prevention.

“Duane thought he could get it done fairly quickly,” Anderson said. “July, or mid-August.”

The board approved spending up to $4,500 for engineering expenses, but not before some discussion.

In addition to affecting a feedlot, water also pools on the road, but Board Chairman Gary Crowley, who also drove to Lake of the Hills, said the township officials are “not concerned about the water on the road. They don’t care to put any money into it.”

Solutions could include using nearby farmer’s tile, which he has offered, Anderson said.

“The landowner has offered up some of his tile as an outlet,” he said. “That being said, it’s only 6-inch tile and is 6 inches enough to allow for this overflow? Without that engineering report, we don’t know. The landowner is willing to give his tile as an outlet.”

There is a “culvert in the southeast corner of the lake so it creates somewhat of a natural intake similar to what we did on County Ditch 13,” Anderson said.

There is Department of Natural Resources land to the north.

“Fish and Wildlife is willing to take water, but doesn’t want erosion,” Anderson said.

Crowley thought that the nearby landowners and Custer Township board should contribute since they have “skin in the game.”

Anderson said Lyon County paid for improvements at Twin Lakes and it should at least pay for engineering expenses to see what would be the best way to deal the Lake of the Hills.

Crowley said the county owns part of Twin Lakes so the cost is justified.

“That’s just my opinion.”

Anderson disagreed.

“I don’t necessarily agree with your opinion on that,” he said. “I don’t see the difference. We don’t own any land on Dead Coon and we’re going to be stuck with 50 percent of that bill.”

Crowley said, “That’s correct.”

Anderson said in addition there are other lakes that need help.

“We may have to look at Island Lake. We know we’re going to have to deal with Dead Coon, School Grove, Wood Lake is too high, Lake Yankton, McKay Lake…”

“I know we have a lot of problems,” Crowley said. “I’m just afraid if this goes through we’re going to have more and more coming to the county.”

Commissioner Charlie Sanow said without answers, the affected parties are unlikely to contribute.

“We have to find out how much it’s going to cost to fix the problem before we can talk about divvying it up,” he said. “Until you can come up with a plan to get rid of the water, were not going to know what the cost is.”

Crowley asked where the funding was coming from.

Anderson said “we wouldn’t have to take it out of the general fund.”

Sanow said there were buffer dollars that could be used.

“This lake backs up to a feedlot,” he said. “There are water quality issues.”


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