The Delaware County Board of Supervisors has approved a funding agreement with the DNR to remove the low-head dam at Quaker Mill on the north end of Manchester. The County was approached by the DNR earlier this year regarding the dam removal. The DNR is also interested in adding riffle structures and doing some stream realignments upstream. Willard Hawker owns the pond and dam facility and has been determined to have the dam removed. He says approximately nine homes flood in that area and removing the dam would help alleviate those problems. Supervisor Jeff Madlom says the County would like to take some stress off Honey Creek Bridge. County Engineer Anthony Bardgett agrees, saying he’d like to “get the Maquoketa River back where it needs to be”. In addition to helping with flooding issues, Hawker believes the dam’s removal would also be an asset to other improvements planned for the Maquoketa River, tying in nicely with the new Whitewater Park project downtown. Hawker is willing to sign over any amount of acres to the Delaware County Conservation Board to provide good public access to the water. The project is estimated to cost around 504-thousand dollars. Delaware County applied for the DNR’s low-head dam removal program, and the DNR has awarded the County a grant for half the project’s cost at 252-thousand dollars. The County will have to come up with the other half of the cost. Officials will have a little over two years to finish the Quaker Mill dam removal project, with the deadline set for the end of December 2015.
(Photo taken by Robin Stone – courtesy of www.iowawhitewater.org)