Republic Dam sold for $50K

After repairs, fishing derby will go on

A. Lindberg and Sons lower one of three gates for installation into the Republic Dam on Monday. The company removed and refabricated the gates so that the dam could be safely operated under a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit. The repairs helped to ensure that the 28th Annual Fishing Derby will go forward in July. (Photos courtesy of Republic Township)

REPUBLIC–The 28th annual Republic Fishing Derby will go on as scheduled in July, after state and township officials, members of the Republic Sportsman’s Club and local businesses worked together to make it a reality.

The Michigamme River Basin Authority has inked a deal with Republic Mountain Lake LLC to buy the Republic Dam for $50,000.

The dam’s three lift gates have been re-fabricated and were re-installed Monday, and officials have secured the necessary permitting from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for the club to operate the dam.

“We will have water for the fishing derby,” said authority board member Jim Brennan, “I didn’t expect to be here until next year, but we are happy, everyone is happy.”

Brennan said A. Lindberg and Sons Inc. removed the gates, then re-fabricated them for re-installation at a cost of $49,000.

A. Lindberg and Sons lower one of three gates for installation into the Republic Dam on Monday. The company removed and refabricated the gates so that the dam could be safely operated under a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit. The repairs helped to ensure that the 28th Annual Fishing Derby will go forward in July. (Photos courtesy of Republic Township)

The repairs could be funded through a secured loan, as long as the authority is able to pay off the $50,000 mortgage for the dam property within 45 days.

“The (authority) paid $20,000 on the mortgage,” Brennan said, adding that the Republic Sportsman’s Club has “raised about $12,000, and we’re looking to get another $20,000 so then we can get a note to pay for the gates.”

Brennan said the club opened a savings account at TruNorth Credit Union, which is currently accepting donations for the project.

Brennan said the project would not have been possible without the help of A. Lindberg and Sons and the dam’s former owner, Republic Mountain Lake LLC.

“I cannot say enough about Republic Mountain Lake LLC for getting this done earlier than expected,” Brennan said, adding “Lindberg and Sons didn’t have to do this — they helped us out by giving us the 45 days.”

A. Lindberg and Sons lower one of three gates for installation into the Republic Dam on Monday. The company removed and refabricated the gates so that the dam could be safely operated under a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit. The repairs helped to ensure that the 28th Annual Fishing Derby will go forward in July. (Photos courtesy of Republic Township)

Now that the gates are installed it will take about 15 days for the water to reach the desired level for the fishing derby, Brennan said.

The permit requires that the allowable water surface elevation in the basin to be capped at 1,492 feet, which can be achieved by increasing the impoundment level at a rate of no more than 6 inches per 24-hour period.

Brennan said the next step is to secure funding for a permanent spillway to replace the dam, a long-term goal outlined by the DEQ permit.