It's on us. Share your news here.

County considers next steps for lake

Posted on November 27, 2023

As Lake Contrary fills with weeds from shore to shore, this once-proud recreation area might need something more than an off-the-shelf herbicide to rekindle its past glory.

It might need what Scott Nelson, the presiding commissioner of Buchanan County, calls a “highfalutin Superman chemical.”

Unlike the cheaper weed control the county approves on a regular basis, the “Superman” chemical would kill the weeds down to the root ball, which is considered key to eventually dredging the lake.

But there’s a catch. With the lone bid coming in at $118,000 to spray from a helicopter, the project would put the county firmly on the path to dredging the lake.

“You can’t have root balls and a dredge going at the same time because it clogs up the dredge,” Nelson said. “You’re not going to Superman spray and not dredge.”

The commission has not made an official decision to dredge the lake, a three-year project that could cost between $7.5 million and $11 million depending on whether the county hired a company or bought and operated its own dredging equipment. Those numbers are estimates but not formal bids.

The county has worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on permits to dump dirt from a dredging project into the Missouri River, which would save on storage or field application. Engineers have dug into the lake bed to see how far to dig in order to get to water.

All that leads the county in the direction of dredging, but the commission might be facing a key decision point. It has about 60 days to accept the bid for aerial spraying. The lone bid came from a South Carolina company.

“There are a couple of things we need to clear up,” Nelson said. “If we’re going to do it we need to do it right.”

Lake Contrary is located south of St. Joseph, outside the city limits.


It's on us. Share your news here.
Submit Your News Today

Join Our
Click to Subscribe