ALBERT LEA, Minn. – The dredging contract for the Fountain Lake Restoration Project has been awarded to a Wisconsin company.
The Shell Rock Watershed District Board of Managers voted Thursday to approve the bid from J.F. Brennan Company Inc. from La Crosse. Initial survey work could start as early as May and the actual dredging is scheduled to begin in June.
“We were very pleased with the final bid package that was approved,” says Interim Watershed District Administrator Andy Henschel. “J.F. Brennan is a reputable and experienced contractor and their bid came in at $5,091,910.00. This translates to $7.30 per cubic yard. This is a fair outcome and clearly in our sweet spot for achieving the volume we wanted at a good price.”
J.F. Brennan officials say it will take two full dredging seasons to remove up to 617,000 cubic yards of sediment from the bottom of Edgewater Bay in Fountain Lake. That works out to around one to five feet of bottom sediment, with some deeper fish habitat holes included.
Leading up to the final vote, Board Chair Dan DeBoer publicly declared, “I am happy to report to the community that we have all of our bases covered and are ready to dredge. Mr. Henschel, it's time to bring it home and get Fountain Lake dredged.”
Henschel added, “Opening up our bidding pool to allow contractors to utilize our dredge was clearly instrumental in achieving this final/favorable bid price. We clearly increased the competition between bidders by allowing contractors to bid that did not have their own equipment. In addition, our dredge played a crucial role in demonstrating to the legislature and the DNR that we were serious and committed to this project. The Board will need to carefully evaluate whether or not to keep our dredge for future projects.”