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Forest City receives $75,000 IDNR grant for dam to rock rapids project

Forest City receives $75,000 IDNR grant for dam to rock rapids project

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removal and replace with rapids

Removing the dam and replacing it with rapids made of rock is one of the options for the city in mitigating its low-head dam on Winnebago River in Pammel Park.

The Dam to Rapids project on the Winnebago River adjacent to Pammel Park took a step closer to becoming reality at the April 5 Forest City council meeting.

Forest City Parks Director Todd Espeland and City Clerk/Administrator Daisy Huffman announced at the meeting that Forest City has been approved for a $75,000 matching grant of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The funding is for the Dam to Rapids project, which will provide conservation benefits and improve river recreation opportunities. Conversion of the existing low-head dam to a step-down small rock arch rapids will aid fish passage and navigation.

Forest City Chamber of Commerce Director Norma Hertzer is in the process of receiving two grants for the matching $75,000 city share of the project and is prepared to seek additional grant funding, if necessary. City council members unanimously approved acceptance of the IDNR grant, contingent upon legal review and receiving grants and funding.

As part of the matching grant, the city must submit a report to the IDNR within one month of completion of the project. All work specified in the project proposal is to be completed no later than Dec.13. The timeline for this Forest City project is uncertain at this time and it was noted during discussion that an extension of time may need to be requested.

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