Nearly $50,000 worth of repairs to the Hydroelectric Dam are being considered by Fort Dodge officials.
The repairs would stop water from flowing through at least one of the broken gates on the dam.
But a long term plan for the dam remains elusive.
''We don't know because things change,'' City Manager David Fierke told the City Council Monday.
As an example of that change, Fierke noted that until last year no one contemplated taking water from the Des Moines River for the city's water supply. But in November of that year, a report indicated that the city may have to take 20 million gallons a day from the river to supply the community and the North Central Ag Industrial Park. Doing that would require doing some work to the dam so that the needed water could be retained. However, Fierke said a more recent analysis indicated that much river water wouldn't be needed.
''It's kind of an ever-flowing thing,'' Fierke said of plans for the dam.
The action now being considered by the council wouldn't address such long-range concerns. Instead, it would stop the flow of water through the dam, creating a bigger pool of water to the north of it.
The dam was built with brackets to hold logs or panels that would prevent water from getting to its gates. The city doesn't have anything to put in those brackets, however.
The council directed Fierke, City Engineer Chad Schaeffer, and John Horrell, superintendent of the John W. Pray Water Facility, to draw up plans for bars or panels to be placed in those brackets. Those plans will then be shown to local contractors who may be interested in creating those barriers.
Larry Beekman, a Fort Dodge welder, has already given the city a $48,000 cost estimate for building the barriers, according to Fierke.
During the Sept. 10 council meeting, Rod Isaacson of 713 Third St. N.W. offered to contribute $1,000 toward repairing the dam. On Monday, Isaacson reported that he has received $4,500 in pledges, including $1,000 promised by Councilman Mark Taylor.