At the October 19, 2022, Hot Springs Village POA Board Meeting, the Superintendent of Lakes, Dams, Common Property, & Forestry presented a proposal for a more financially efficient method of lake dredging in the Village.

Recently, Noles also gave a presentation to the Lake Cortez shorelines, but Noles’ report to the Board is not the same presentation. I mention this only because I don’t want anyone to confuse the two presentations, as they both contain useful but different information. (Click here to view the Lake Cortez Presentation Report and Video.)

Hydro dredging is used to dredge coves that are not suitable candidates for mechanical dredging. The 2021 total dredging cost was $628,400 for Lake DeSoto. The Lake DeSoto contract was terminated, and the dredging was not completed. Hydro dredging is an expensive process, resulting in the necessity for HSVPOA staff to remove the bags after the dredging process is finished.

Noles was tasked with finding a less expensive dredging alternative that still meets the dredging objectives but will result in spending less money on the dredging process.

Noles proposed that an amphibious excavator be used for spot dredging leading to a total savings of $375,350 from the previous year.

Noles said the dredging material (silt) can be used as fill dirt for projects in the Village. Silt can also be used by Villagers as compost material for non-edible gardens, and outside entities can use some of the silt, which they will remove at their own cost. Noles enthused, “It is not going to cost us a dime to remove this material. As a matter of fact, this is some good material we can use instead of just pushing it off into the pit.”

“Over the last five years, on a low average, it has cost us $650,000 to dredge one lake each year,” explained the Superintendent. Using the amphibious process Noles has proposed, will result in a savings of approximately $400,000 in dredging costs per lake.

Noles sought board approval of the use of amphibious excavating through Hartin Excavating. Spot excavating can be done without lowering the lake as the machine is a big trackhoe that floats on the water, similar to a pontoon boat. Hardin also has a dump truck on a pontoon that he fills with the dredged material as he removes it. “He can work, just like we work on land,” Noles stated.

Coves that have never been dredged can be reached so property owners will be able to move their boats in and out of their coves. Noles expressed, “We can meet our objectives, but save a lot of money!”

General Manager Kelly Hale said that he and Public Services Director Ken Unger have been vetting this for the past six months and that Noles has done an excellent job of researching and presenting the proposed lake dredging changes.

Board Chair, Joanie Corry asked if a schedule for lake dredging over the next several years will be published.

Hale said part of the schedule for lake dredging is dependent on silt mitigation work upstream. Public Services, and both the Common Property and Lakes Committe have been tasked to assist with this project. The installation of rip rap and other preventive measures need to be taken to prevent the flow of silt into our lakes. “Historically, we have been dredging lakes every five years. We would like to reduce that to possibly every eight years. This is true cost savings,” shared Hale.

Director Bruce Caverly moved to authorize the General Manager to execute an agreement with Brad Hartin Grading and Excavating. Director Bob McLeod seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously. (See motion below.)

Report by Cheryl Dowden

Report by Cheryl Dowden

Contact Information For Public Services Director

Ken Unger
Director Public Services
Hot Springs Village