Lake Dredging Project In Deep Trouble

A neighborhood lake dredging project is in deep water financially. But an attorney for the Sanitary Improvement District doesn’t think engineering miscalculations will cause a tax increase.

Carma Pacaj and her daughter Kim live in a town home that overlooks the silt pond near 148th and Fort in northwest Omaha. Once a home for various wildlife, the small lake was drained for dredging in late August.

Carma said, “They need to fix it now. Put water back in and let our wildlife come back.”

The project stopped and the S-I-D 415 board fired the engineering firm of E&A consulting.

S-I-D attorney Bob Doyle told Six On Your Side the dredging project is about $55,000 over budget and that cost will rise. A new engineering firm has been hired to develop a new dredging plan so the silt can be removed and the lake refilled.

The S-I-D paid about $200,000 on the quarter million dollar project. About $85,000 of that money coming from the environmental trust.

Doyle said S-I-D 415 has been well managed and has the cash to cover the unexpected cost without raising taxes.

Mark Westergard of E&A consulting told Six On Your Side his company did everything it could to do the dredging on time and correctly. But he describes it as a "messy" project.

The contractor had to dig down 15 feet to find solid ground for dredging equipment. However that dug out tons of extra dirt and put the project in deep water financially.

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