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Manatee County Commission approves repair work on Lake Manatee dam

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Work to begin soon, critical repair should be complete by June 1

Addressing the Commission today during a special meeting to discuss the dam, Manatee County Water Division Manager Mark Simpson said the most critical dam work will be done in Phase IA and Phase IB. Phase IA will address the most critical areas of the dam before the rainy season.

Phase IB will extend the new cement wall north and south along the dam, creating a cement wall of about 3,700 feet across the dam to further enhance its structural integrity. Phase IB, Simpson said, could be complete as soon as Oct. 31, 2014. Utilities staff said Phase IB is a lower priority and can be done during the rainy season, after Phase IA repairs are complete. The Phase IA and IB work will cost an estimated $14.8 millions and is expected to extend the life of the dam another 50 years or more.

Manatee issued a notice to proceed on Tuesday, meaning crews are already mobilizing to begin Phase IA repairs. County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said Manatee Utilities System has sufficient reserves to pay for receipts now without damaging its credit while the County identifies an alternate source of financing.