Jay Anglemyer of MKEC told the council that he had received new information

The Augusta City Council doesn’t change its mind as quickly as the city’s engineer.

For a few weeks, the governing body has received reports that erosion damage on the face of the new dam at the city lake would be repaired by the contractor before the city signed off on the total project as complete.

But Monday night, Jay Anglemyer of MKEC told the council that he had received new information that made him believe the contractor wasn’t responsible for the repairs. He also questioned whether the repairs were truly necessary.

“Initially, we wanted that turf mat all the way down the face of the dam,” Anglemyer said. “But the contractor showed me in the contract that they were only responsible for maintaining and operating the lake until we stopped the water flow out of the lake and began to refill the lake.”

He said that the when the decision was made to catch the water – which is also the decision that stopped the turf mat from being installed down the bottom 10 feet of the dam – the contractor turned the lake over to the city. The water level staying steady at the bottom of the existing turf mat led to the erosion.

“I’m not a judge,” Anglemyer said. “But the contractor is making a good argument.”

Instead of bringing in more heavy equipment to repair the dame – which he says is mainly cosmetic and in no way a structural problem - Anglemyer recommended the installation of sediment logs to prevent any further damage until the water level rises.

He estimated the cost of the logs to be about $1,000 and said city crews could handle the installation.

“I am disappointed that the contractor won’t assume responsibility for that,” City Manager Bill Keefer said. “But I would recommend using the logs to prevent further erosion.”

Anglemyer said he thought UCI would “step up” and take care of the problem – especially since the city was spending almost $2 million on the combined dam and spillway projects.

“We are spending almost $2 million with them and they will quibble with us over $1,000?” Councilor Sue Jones asked. “I think we should tell them we expect them to install these sediment logs at their cost.”

Mike Wallace made a motion to officially make that request of UCI which was seconded by Matt Childers. The measure passed 6-1 with Matt Malone voting against because he said Anglemyer had told the council they couldn’t win this argument in court so he didn’t see the need to pursue the issue with a letter.