Mason City council approves accepting DNR grant for low-head dam on Winnebago River

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved accepting a $125-thousand grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to work on safety improvements on the low-head dam on the Winnebago River that’s located just south of the 12th Northeast bridge.

The $125,483 grant does not fully fund half of the project and city officials say the project will not start until other funding sources can be obtained.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett says the city and the DNR are working on finding other funds for the project.  “The goal is the DNR is going to work continue to work with the city to get to hopefully a 50/50 cost-share on the dam improvements. While we’re not there, we do need accept the grant and lock in this funding, and the DNR said that they would continue to work with us to to get the remainder of the funds so that the project can move forward.”

Work on the dam primarily involves the design of several large wave features to improve recreation, such as kayaking and tubing.