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Mayor will hear Lake Mitchell cleanup costs at week's end

The Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee is getting a fresh start. At its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the committee elected officers, planned for the future and considered abandoning the unsuccessful algae-reducing SolarBee project. Mark Puetz, a mem...

The Lake Mitchell Advisory Committee is getting a fresh start.

At its monthly meeting on Tuesday, the committee elected officers, planned for the future and considered abandoning the unsuccessful algae-reducing SolarBee project.

Mark Puetz, a member of the committee, and Mayor Jerry Toomey will meet with Fyra Engineering on Friday to hear cost estimates and discuss potential plans to address Lake Mitchell's longstanding algae problem.

The Omaha-based engineering firm returns to Mitchell after a September presentation was well-received by the lake committee. At Friday's meeting with Puetz and Toomey, the city will likely pursue a public input hearing to inform locals and landowners along Lake Mitchell and the Firesteel Creek about potential cleanup options.

Toomey also hopes to meet with State Sen. Mike Vehle to see if there is any funding the city can acquire from the state's legislative body.

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"Funding's going to be crucial if we're going to be successful at this," Toomey said.

The committee also considered selling its $27,000 SolarBee, which anchors to the bottom of the lake and stirs up water to reduce the potential of algae growth in the lake's stagnant warm water. After several years in the lake, the committee asked if it's time to move on and cut its losses.

"My thought is one SolarBee's not going to do it," Toomey said.

Parks and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek estimated the city could potentially sell the device for $15,000 to $20,000.

The committee also elected officers to replace Puetz as the interim committee chair. Puetz returned to the post after former Chairman Mike Blaalid was removed from the committee.

Longstanding committee member Joe Kippes was elected to the position of chairman and Chad Nemec was elected vice chair. Both positions are one-year terms.

Related Topics: LAKE MITCHELL
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