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Lake Isabella gets first dredging permit

Lake Isabella voters in August approved a millage for lake and river restoration. The Chippewa River at Riviera Park on Carmen Drive is full of muck that will be included in dredging.

Posted on January 31, 2024

A restoration project at Lake Isabella has reached the permit phase, and village officials hope to begin the first round of dredging before the end of winter.

Now that the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy has approved a permit to remove as much as 9,334 cubic yards of spoils from Birch Bay near the Lake Isabella Property Owners Association office on Queensway Drive, village officials are working on obtaining bids for the work.

Lake Isabella Village Manager Tim Wolff said weather might impact plans, which call for the village getting sealed bids for the project prior to the first collection of a millage that voters approved in August, then borrow from the village’s general fund to pay for the work, then repay it once summer taxes are collected.

Currently, the plan is to save the remaining proceeds from the 2024 capture to match the 2025 millage funds for use on the river portion of the project, Wolff said.

Involving the removal and relocation of dredged spoils from Birch Bay to the village’s disposal site, the project will conclude with the spoils being graded and seeded, and also includes the installation of roughly 12.5 cubic yards of concrete to replace the bottom of the slab of the existing boat launch at the bay so the ramp reaches the new lake bottom depth, according to Wolff.

Sealed bids for the project are due by Feb. 16 at 4 p.m., and the village council is expected to select a contractor at the Feb. 20 meeting.

Village officials hope the dredging will be competed by March 31; if not, the alternative start date will be after the October drawdown, according to Wolff.


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