City of Jasper To Hire Expert to Study Beaver Lake Levels

From the Dubois County Free Press:

The Jasper Water Commission decided to hire Morley and Associates to conduct a study of the Beaver Dam Lake spillway project to determine what may be causing the lower levels at the lake.

Residents of the recreational lake — that also serves as an alternative water supply for the city — have complained the levels of the lake are nine to 12 inches lower since a $3.3 million dollar spillway project was completed in 2012. During construction, the city was informed that the new spillway would be approximately one inch lower than the previous structure. But residents have found this difference in height a perplexing due the 9 to twelve-inch difference they are seeing now.

Brian McKenna, director of civil design for Christopher B. Burke Engineering of Indianapolis, the contracted engineering firm on the project, explained at the May Jasper Utility Service Board meeting that the 9 to twelve inch level difference could be due to the water flowing over the spillway much more efficiently than the previous spillway.

The city held a public meeting in June to hear concerns from the residents and property owners around the lake. Based on the input of from the public at the meeting, the city contacted the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for guidance in researching a possible solution to the problem.

According to City Utilities Manager Bud Hauersperger, the Department of Natural Resources recommended several firms to study the construction of the dam and spillway at Beaver Lake to determine exactly where the elevation of the dam should be.

He proposed that the committee recommend hiring Morley and Associates to complete the study for the city. He told the committee that the study could cost between $5,000 and $8,000.

“We are just wanting another set of eyes on it,” Hauersperger told the committee regarding his recommendation.

The matter will be brought to the Jasper Utility Service Board for action at the July 15th meeting.

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