Rice Township has received a $60,000 grant from the state Department of Community and Economic Development to help cover the cost of the Ice Lakes dam repair.
State Rep. Gerald Mullery helped to secure the grant for the township, which was left hanging when bids for the project came in higher than expected.
Supervisors had planned to apply for a loan, but now that shouldn’t be necessary as long as the project goes “according to the contracted cost structure,” Secretary Jeff Beck said.
Of course, it could be said that the project has not gone according to plan from the very beginning. Residents complained of lowered
water levels at the lakes in 2015, when it was discovered that a pipe connecting the upper and lower lakes was leaking. Township officials put together a plan to fix the pipe. Before starting the repairs, they held a meeting with an official from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in September 2016. The official told them the dam didn’t comply with a 2011 state law that requires lakes to be capable of being drained in an emergency.
Now the township faced repairing the entire dam rather than just one pipe –not only a costlier project, but also a more highly regulated project.
Repairing the dam was expected at