Low water mark

Tiffiney Kleczewski of Flambeau Engineering
Residents question county management of Chelsea Lake levels

A number of property owners around Chelsea Lake attended the January 4 meeting of the Taylor County Forestry Committee to again express concerns about the low lake level.
Forest administrator Jake Walcisak told the committee on November 7 he put another stop block in the dam in anticipation of a low lake level during the fall and winter. He said the wet fall and mild winter had resulted in the water level increase and on December 27 he took the stop block back out. He said at the present time, there are two less stop blocks in the dam than when the county took ownership in March of last year and that was “pretty much” where the county has been all last summer.
Committee member Gene Knoll asked about the level of the lake. Walcisak said they where working with two different elevation values. He said the information project engineer, Tiffiney Kleczewski of Flambeau Engineering in Park Falls, had provided the county was in feet above sea level and the information the county had been working with in the past was reference data based on benchmarks placed at different locations around the lake with 100 feet the assumed elevation for the reference point. However, Walcisak said those benchmarks have all been destroyed or lost and recreating that has been a challenge. He said the authorized lake level is 102.1 to 103.1 feet and using the top of the riser which was referenced at 105 feet with Kleczewski’s sea level elevation of the riser will allow the county to “stitch” the two together so they can be compared.
Walcisak said there is a state administrative code dealing with hydraulic storage capacity and safety requirements for operating a dam and asked Kleczewski to explain what a dam operator is required to do, her findings to date and what they will mean as the county moves forward with replacing the dam.

See this week's issue of The Star News for the complete story.

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