When Lake Redwood was artificially created by a dam in 1902, it became one of the main tourist sites of the area. Its 27 foot depth made it perfect for swimming, boating, fishing, and even water skiing.
However, decades of sediment building up have taken a toll. The average depth of Lake Redwood is now only about 2.8 feet.
The city of Redwood Falls has tried a number of times over the past 30 years or more to get funding from the state to dredge the lake back to its original depth, and has come very close several times in the last couple years.
The lake dredging project was in the 2016 state bonding bill and set to receive the full amount, but the entire bill failed in the House of Representatives.
Last year wasn’t a bonding year, but State Senator Gary Dahms and Representative Paul Torkelson introduced it as a package for consideration anyway. Again, the bill failed in the final hours of the session.
On Tuesday, the Redwood Falls City Council approved a letter of support for the Lake Redwood dredging project to be presented to the state as the project is considered for approval in 2018.
The total project cost is estimated to be $11 million, with $10,100,000 being provided by the state, $900,000 from the city (divided between $500,000 from the Public Utilities, and $400,000 from future wetland-bank credit sales).
Toward that end, several state legislators are tentatively scheduled to visit Redwood Falls next Monday, Jan. 8, at approximately 4 p.m. to discuss the dredging project. The plan is for legislators to meet at the Redwood Area Community Center to meet with the public.
For more information as the situation evolves, contact Redwood Falls City Hall at 507-637-5755.