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VOL 5 NO 6 - August 20, 2008

Hello Friends,

We interrupt your High Def 1080i 27-camera coverage of the ever popular Olympic Thumb Wrestling Semi-Finals between the former Soviet breakaway region of Upper Turkmenistan and six-time defending champion South Borneo, for this news bulletin from The Friends of the Looking Glass, sponsored by VISA...theme music down...

1.  Storm Drain Collapse Repair: 
On Mon. 8.18.08,  DeWitt City Council hired Cook Bros. Excavating Inc. of Portland  to repair the storm water drain outfall that collapsed into the Looking Glass River on July 11th.  The vote was unanimous to accept Cook Bros' low bid of $30,400.00, based on an emergency repair plan prepared by civil engineering firm C2AE of Lansing.  City Administrator Brian Vick told council that of the four bids, the high bid was in the $75K range and joked that it nearly gave him a heart attack.  Vick said Cook's proposal indicated that the fix would be completed on or before Sept 15, 2008.  

C2AE's civil engineer Gary Arnold said the repair would include a rock-lined base from the river bed to the flood line, and a fiberous material called Geoweb,

a large egg crate-like webbing material, which is stretched and staked over the repaired and compacted area, filled with topsoil, and planted with grasses and plants to hold the steep, nearly 30' tall "high bank".  The contract also calls for the removal of the many tons of soils that collapsed into the river, and Arnold said that would be
accomplished with a backhoe.

The MDEQ permit to review / approve / suggest changes to the repair plans is in the works, but facing the possibility for further landslides into the river, and with fall rains approaching, the City may proceed without the permit if necessary.  Luckily the area has not seen any additional sustained, heavy rains since those that no doubt contributed to the collapse five weeks ago.  A right-of-way agreement has been drafted for the property owners that would give the city the right to move a utility shed to make room for the construction equipment in the family's yard at the corner of Washington and Market streets.  The outfall collapsed took out the highbank installation on the north side of the river, and is visible from the south side of the river, from the bituminous walkway halfway between Riverside Park and RiverTrail Parks, which are accessible on S. Bridge Street and E. Dill Drive respectively. The attached photos show the site as of 8.14.08, with a temporary flex tubing put in place by City DPS crews.

2.  Speaking of DDPS:  Welcome to Rich Miller, DeWitt's new Public Service Supervisor who recently migrated north from Delhi Twp.  Rich says he looks forward to the upcoming repair / maintenance projects on the Looking Glass River and to meeting more area people.

3.  Upcoming Work Dates:  Be ready to mark your calendars, and pitch in...(please?):

a)  LGR Bank Stabilization Project @ Riverside Park:  City Admin. Brian Vick is trying to nail down a date that works for the city and other targeted groups to provide person-power (sorry - must be PC or face public humiliation these days), to repair the eroded bank and save the remaining trees that canopy the river. It's hard to book dates before they're chosen, but several dozen volunteers are going to be needed to do the bank work, and another couple of dozen will be needed to assist the Millennium Garden Club with the new plantings to control runoff and prevent future bank erosion.  Anyone interested in either, please indicate so with a return email to me with your name(s) and best ph # to reach you during the day or after work (cell ph?).

b)  Logjambee `08:  Usually, during the last week of Sept or the first week of Oct, FLG conducts a daylong logjam clearing/cutting event that we "logjambee".  We've averaged approx 16 logjam fixes during each event.  This year's fall date will be dependant upon the dates chosen for "a" above, but will not be simultaneous.  Standby for that notice please.  Helpful but not necessary items: waders, gloves, chain saw, thick rope, digital cameras, patience.  If you want to help but not in the river, we can use a good photographer to document the work, a food service person or two, etc.  A scrumptious lunch is always served.  Both of these events will be unique and valuable experiences for our volunteers.  Anyone interested in participating in the logjambee, please indicate so with a return email to me with your name(s) and best ph# to reach you during the day or after work (cell ph?). 

We hope to see you and your tough guys/gals and scientist teenagers on these work projects!

On behalf of the FLG Board of Directors, thanks everyone for your interest and support. 

Bob Bishop
FLG Communications