Bristol Village Board approves dam inspection

The Bristol Village Board on Monday hired a contractor to conduct an inspection of the dam that forms Lake Shangri-la.

The inspection is being required by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said village administrator Randy Kerkman.

“This is another one of those unfunded mandates from the state,” Kerkman said.

At one time, Kerkman conducted the inspections, but the requirements have become more complex and he now feels it is better to have the inspection done by an expert.

Kerkman said the state seems to be more stringent about dam inspections after the 2008 collapse of a dam at Lake Delton in Sauk County. The Lake Delton failure drained that lake that is in the heart of one of the state’s prime tourist areas. The dam was rebuilt and the lake allowed to refill.

Bristol hired Bloom Companies to do the inspection for $1,995. That inspection report could include items that need to be repaired, and consequently additional cost for the village.

The dam was last inspected two years ago, also by Bloom. Kerkman said he thought that inspection would be good for 4 to 5 years, but recently received notice of the need for a new inspection. He now assumes the inspection will need to be done every two years. Because of the short notice, the inspection was not included in the village budget.

Since Lake Shangri-la straddles the Bristol-Salem border, Kerkman said he will contact Salem about sharing the cost. Salem did contribute to repairs for the dam the last time they were needed, but Kerkman said he was under the impression that cost sharing would not necessarily be approved by Salem in the future. The dam is located on the east side of the lake, near a dead end of 214th Avenue, in Bristol.

Removing the dam would eliminate the need for maintenance, but that would likely drain the lake, Kerkman said.

“That wouldn’t make lakefront property owners very happy,” Kerkman said.

There also is a dam for Lake George, but it is located on private property and therefore not the village’s responsibility, Kerkman said.



  1. Wake up Bristol says:

    Mr. Kerkman, (The Administrator) doesn’t know how long an inspection is good for ? And now that he has been notified by the state that they need another one he still doesn’t know how long this new one will be good for ??

    Make a phone call ,will ya!!

    “ I thought” ??? “ he now assumes” ???? “under the impression” ????? Are these the words you want the guy “In Charge” saying ??????

    Wake up Bristol. Demand more from this guy you call the boss. Or get a new one!

  2. chill out says:

    Hey “wake up Bristol” that’s some harsh criticism! Knowing every detail on this dam cannot — and should not — be the top priority for the village administrator, he must have thousand other higher priorities. This likely was only reported on because this reporter was sitting at a meeting where it was discussed and needed another story to write. Doesn’t sound like you are a Bristol resident, so maybe you should stick your nose in your own town’s business and keep it out of Bristol’s! Thanks for the advice but no thanks.

  3. Me again says:

    Know every detail? No, just a few. While I don’t expect him to know the elevation of the dam or the volume that flows over per/hour off the top of his head, I do expect him to know cost and frequency. That’s his job. As I said, one phone call and he could have come out smelling like a rose. Instead he sounds disconnected.

    As for Darren, he doesn’t need to be defended by me but reporting that you over there will now have to find a few thousand dollars that you ‘should’ have know about is at least worth a mention. (Isn’t that what reporters are supposed to do?)

    And your right, I’m not a Bristol resident, (I’m from Salem) but the fact that we over here have in the past and may in the future put money toward this gives me license to comment, not that I need your approval.

    Also it’s been pretty boring around here since Linda left.
    (Diane, you’ve had your moments)

    Also we voted down the ATVs so not much to talk about here lately.

  4. Me Again, 2 says:

    To chill out.

    I kept thinking about your comment about the reporter.

    “This likely was only reported on because this reporter was sitting at a meeting where it was discussed and needed another story to write.”

    So you don’t think that the people of Bristol should be aware that their administrator may have dropped the ball on a $2,000 item? Do you think that this $2,000 should just be swept under the rug? Not everybody who wants to know these things can make it to a meeting. These people depend on reporters to do their job.

    I know Darren. He goes to these meetings every month, week in and week out, at multiple municipalities and most of the time it just boring boiler plate agendas. So here he is picking up on something that is out of the ordinary. That is what good reporting is all about. I’ve seen him write 2, 3 or even 4 stories out of a single board meeting. Different stories for different topics.

    People all over depend on reporters to do their jobs and tell them when something different or unusual comes up.

    “This reporter” was doing his job. And doing it well.

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