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Montevideo, Minn., expected to approve bid to remove Chippewa River dam

MONTEVIDEO -- Plans to remove the 54-year-old dam on the Chippewa River in Montevideo are on track and under budget.

The Montevideo City Council met Monday but did not have a quorum to take action. Members who were present informally approved the low bid of $244,014.47 by MACC Inc., of Montevideo, for the dam's removal and replacement with a series of weirs.

The City Council will have a special meeting Thursday to take formal action on city business, according to City Manager Steve Jones.

The action on the low bid is contingent on approval by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The project attracted four bids, including offers of $309,996.58 by Schoep Contracting LLC, of Montevideo; $313,198 by Rachel Contracting, St. Michael; and $701,390 by Riley Brothers Construction Inc., of Morris.

The low bid is well within budget.

The city has been awarded grants totaling $350,000 by the DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the project. More than $54,700 has been spent to date on engineering and other professional services.

The dam was built in 1958 and was originally owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. It is 21 feet high and 120 feet in width.

Along with improving safety, the removal of the dam will improve fish habitat and fishing opportunities in the lower portion of the river.

Part of the project will involve removing sediment that has built up behind the dam.

A rock weir structure will replace the dam.

In other business, council members also informally approved a Planning Commission recommendation to allow Homefront Care Center to join its two structures on the 200 block of North 19th Street and add an addition. It will add eight bedrooms to the care facility.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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