County water board moving forward with Karey Dam replacement

The Hettinger County Water Board has decided to move forward on taking care of the crumbling Karey Dam.

By COLE BENZ | Herald Editor

After months of discussion, dating back to spring last year, the Chairman of the Hettinger County Water Board said they have collectively decided to move forward on replacing the crumbling Karey Dam. The decision was made during their November 2016 meeting.

Karey Dam, roughly three miles northwest of New England, has been in existence since the 1930s and a few years ago the landowner approached the board with the issue.

The board has been working with Barr Engineering out of Bismarck since they commissioned the company to conduct a feasibility study and present their results to the board.

As previously reported by The Herald, the board was presented with three different options, and the one the board would prefer is the rock arch rapids structure that uses a series of steps in the back of the dam, with a gradual decline of steps built with rocks and other material on the other side.

“Yes, [rock arch rapids dam] is our preferred choice,” Urlacher said.

The Herald was previously told that this structure would still allow fish in the river to navigate up the stream.

Currently, Urlacher said that much of the work currently being done is in organizing funds for the project.

“I do know that at this point a lot of the work being done is looking to set up fundraising and that type of stuff,” he said.

Urlacher also said that part of the time constraint is the fact that they are looking at multiple agencies, including the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which have annual budgets that they must adhere to.

The plan order is funding, planning, and then execution, which could be some time to complete.

“It’s still probably going to be two, to three years before that’s done,” Urlacher said.

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