Dam Development

The development of Lake Winona’s dam and reconstruction.  Our latest inspection was August 2018.  We are still high hazard, which will not change until the dam is complete, but water quality is clean and normal, and weed treatments are regularly scheduled in-season.

It all began with the flood of 2000…

August 17, 2012 was the deadline for The Department for Environmental Protection (DEP) Dam Safety & Flood Control’s loan funding application.  The 2% loan offer spans 20 years after completion of construction and final inspection.

May 2013, we received a letter stating our application was approved.

November 2014 Governor Christie signed an appropriation bill for dam restoration loans.January 2015 a few LWCA Directors met with Jefferson Twp.’s Administrator, Engineer and Council President.  We discussed various subjects, including procedures the LWCA has to go through to get approval from Jefferson Twp. as a co-signer for the loan.  The loan needs to be co-signed by our municipality for the money to be appropriated.  This is a lengthy process, but necessary for the rebuilding of Lake Winona’s dam.

April 2015 one LWCA Board member drove to Trenton for a meeting with the DEP.  Jefferson Twp.’s engineer and Lake Winona’s engineer joined two Dam Safety reps from the DEP.  Lake Winona area plans were laid out for all to see and proposed solutions considered.  Many possibilities were discussed, although none created a solution to the problem.  Mostly due to legal issues and/or extreme costs.  The DEP decided they would seek an opinion from the Attorney General’s office, as to whether it would be acceptable to add a deed restriction to the homes built on the dam embankment.

May 2016 the DEP sent a letter requesting Lake Winona complete a dam safety compliance schedule form by July 15th.  The schedule includes a timeline for the reconstruction plan.  Our engineering company Greenman-Pedersen is working with us, although tough to get DEP’s stamp of approval.  Their guidelines are almost impossible to follow at Lake Winona.

The letter stated, “Rehabilitation design must strictly comply with Dam Safety Standards.  If such a design cannot be achieved, then a breach/removal design must be developed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:20-1.7(h)”, which is still a lot of work and costs money.  “Failure to comply with the deadline established in this letter will result in the referral of this matter to the Office of the Attorney General to initiate legal action which may include the imposition of monetary penalties.”

June 2016 we receive another letter requesting the signed loan agreement so the DEP can finalize.  Their deadline was October 2016 and if we did not meet this, our funding would be canceled and we could reapply during the next round.  An extensive time-consuming application.

August 2016 our lawyer Eileen Born, from the Law Offices of Dolan and Dolan in Newton, sent Jefferson Twp.’s lawyer a proposed co-borrower agreement to review.  It is a multi-step process for the Twp. to actually signing the agreement, buy this was the first step.

October 2016, two Board members met with Jefferson Twp.’s Administrator and Engineer at Town Hall.  We asked what they are willing to do to help Lake Winona.  It was a positive conversation and we walked away satisfied.  Also during October, Greenman-Pedersen sent an estimate to re-analyze the hydrology.  Technology has changed and it has not been studied for many years.  We progressed in this direction.

February 2017 our engineer called after speaking with the DEP in response to the May 2016 letter.  A full PMF (probable maximum -100 year- flood) spillway needs to be designed because the Department of Law did not agree with the concept of deed restrictions on the four homes.  So the dam redesign challenge continued.

January 2018 the LWCA drew up an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), which was quickly approved by the DEP.  An EAP is designed to establish procedures necessary to protect life and property in areas affected by the failure of a dam or the uncontrolled release of stored water.

September 2018 a resolution with Jefferson Twp. was executed for the LWCA to borrow Twp. funds to pay for the hydrology analysis.

January 2019 Lake Winona’s engineering firm is preparing the hydrology analysis report.

If you have any questions regarding the dam, feel free to email lwcadam@gmail.com