The Douglas County Commission Wednesday committed to making needed repairs to the Lone Star Lake dam and spillway by December 2001.
The commissioners set the date at the request of the Kansas Division of Water Resources, which inspected the spillway last fall and said it was a safety hazard.
"We're all decided we are going to do this project," said Commissioner Tom Taul. "We are going to find a way to fund it."
The repairs could begin this fall and be completed as soon as next spring, depending on how the county decides to pay for the work. The estimated cost is $1.7 million if it is built in two phases over the next two years or about $1.6 million if it is built in one 6-month span.
Keith Browning, public works director, said the state asked for the schedule to show that the county was making progress toward fixing the problem.
There are four basic steps needed to complete the repair.
The county did the first one when it hired George Butler Associates to update its 10-year-old design for a new spillway.
On Wednesday, the commissioners asked county staff to complete an emergency action plan in the event of a dam failure by July 31.
The plans for the repair are to be finished by Aug. 31, and the repair itself by the end of 2001.
Commissioner Charles Jones said he was interested in finding a way for the property owners rimming the lake to pay for a part of the improvements. Jones said he didn't expect thousands or even hundreds of dollars each year, but he did want something.
"They are getting more benefit out of it than the average citizen," Jones said. "They should also put more money into it."
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is email@example.com.