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Land deal allows Johnson Lake pumping station to move forward

Published 11:05am Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Otter Tail County has come to an agreement with a landowner to allow for a pumping station north of Highway 12 near the flooded Johnson Lake east of Dalton. Work could begin in mid-September.

“The bid process will begin Aug. 24,” said County Engineer Rick West. “Once the bid process is completed, we can award the project and then sign the contract.”

The bad news, in light of recent and heavy rainfall, is that a stretch of Highway 12 along Johnson Lake is down to one lane of traffic. Drivers heading east and west along the saturated roadway are forced to take turns driving on the one lane that’s still open.

Late last month the county board of commissioners voted to speed up the process for a permanent outlet and pumping station at Johnson Lake. It’s a relief for board members that an agreement has finally been reached with the landowner.

County Board Chairman John Lindquist, who represents the Dalton area on the five-person board of commissioners, has stopped his vehicle along Highway 12 to remove logs that have washed onto the roadway.

Previously, temporary pumps were used to lower the water level at Johnson Lake.

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