Rock Arch Rapids Plan For Third Street Dam Approved

A scaled back plan has been approved by the Huron City Commission to retrofit the low head dam on the James River at Huron, with a rock arch rapids. Barr Engineering of Minneapolis came back to the Commission this week with a proposal that focuses on eliminating the hydraulic rolling of the dam, which creates a drowning danger for any person or thing that gets in the water. On the back burner for now is improved fishing access in the area. The City now only needs to come up with 35-thousand dollars for initial engineering work. The Lake and Riverfront Committee will commit five-thousand dollars. Five-thousand from Second Penny Funds and the Park and Recreation Department will carry the balance. Barr Engineering’s Ron Koth says they want to get the project in the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department’s Budget as soon as possible. Koth added that the 35-thousand dollars would be a part of the City’s 25-percent match to the 75-percent provided by the Sport Fish Restoration grant they are trying to get for the retrofit. Mayor Dave McGirr says the city wanted to tackle the Third Street Dam project following the construction of the 12-point-six million dollar Central Park project, that includes the Splash Central water park. McGirr says its important for Huron to act now on the low head dam retrofit, before other such dams in the state become aware of the sport fish grant and also make applications. McGirr also asked the the project could be held up by the Topeka Shiner minnow. He cited the recent hold up fo work to replace the Rosehill Dam in Hand County because of the minnow. Koth says the rock arch rapid would allow the minnow to pass through and didn’t believe the little swimmers would pose an issue. Money for the Sport Fish Restoration program is derived from a 10-percent federal excise tax charged on fishing equipment, that gets returned to the states for such programs and grants.

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