I’m just going to add info about the replacement of the Gun Lake Dam (and at the same time, presumably Marsh Rd where it crosses the river) on this blog. Partly because I don’t want to set up a whole new blog; partly because we’re all in this Gun Lake thing together; and partly because the lucky people on the Cuddy Channel are potentially going to get whacked with another drain assessment. Lucky them – at least THIS time they have a thousand-plus homes to share the burden.
So welcome to the Gun River Intercounty Drain Drainage Board! Same people involved that serve on the Cuddy ICDDB: Russ Yarger, Denise Medemar, Brady Harrington. Lots of folks were in attendance; residents, Engineers, Road Commission folks.
Here are some fun facts about our dam:
The first evidence of it shows up in records from 1905, as an earthen dam. It seems the height was raised, lowered, or obliterated with dynamite (!) through a couple of decades. At some point, a Court Injunction was imposed; and in 1921, the legal lake level was defined as 744.32′ above sea level and set by Statute (now that would be known as the “Lake Level Control Act”). In 1951, the current concrete dam was constructed, under the auspices of the Intercounty Drain Board; but through the years, various entities have paid for maintenance on it, including the work done in 2013 (paid for, in part, by Orangeville and Yankee Springs Townships?) The Gun River ICDDB has a separate financial account for the dam; yet their records seem to show their first upstream road crossing as Patterson – NOT Marsh Rd. It’s a “Section 301” dam, meaning it controls lake levels, but still might need approval by the “Dam Safety” group who oversees “Section 307” dams…
Are you confused yet? Everyone is! The first question that needs to be answered: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DAM???? The end answer is “Russ Yarger” – but as the “head of the Barry Drain Commission”; or as a “member of the Gun Ruver ICDDB”? A law firm who specializes in these things will be consulted to go through old Circuit Court proceedings, to see if they can find the answer. Why do we care? If it’s part of the Gun River ICDDB, we cast a wider net for drain assessments, potentially? The dam doesn’t affect just Gun Lake – Payne Lake and Long Lake (and possibly more lakes upstream) would also have drained, had the dam completely failed. A gentleman representing the Payne Lake Association was in attendance, seeking information on erecting a temporary dam for their lake, in case the main dam failed. Unfortunately, they would have to have their lake level set by the Circuit Court, for starters…. I understand their concern. Nobody wants to look out over an expanse of mud where a beautiful lake once stood.
BUT – at the moment, there are 200 TONS of rock holding the dam securely in place. There’s only a few inches of concrete exposed. It’s rather pretty, I think? And SOLID. I suspect Gun Lake will breach Marsh Rd before it goes through the dam with all its rocks? I think there’s plenty of time to get the proper answers; and then decide what to do with it.