Bristol effort to clean out canal my get an eye in the sky assist from Sheriff’s Dept.

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department drone. /Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department photo, used with permission

Bristol has an ongoing problem with keeping the Dutch Gap Canal clear so it can properly drain the many acres of Bristol land that flow into it.

Despite the village’s efforts to keep the canal free of obstructions from tree branches to beaver dams, the channel seems to not stay free flowing for long.

But a helping hand may come from a somewhat unexpected source — the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.

At a recent Village Board meeting, village administrator Randy Kerkman suggested the latest way to try to see where obstructions are along the canal might be for the village to purchase a camera equipped drone and fly over the canal where it is difficult to see otherwise.

Kerkman estimated an appropriate drone would cost the village about $1,000-1,500.

KCSD Capt. Robert Hallisy, Operations Division commander, was in attendance at the meeting for another reason. When he heard Kerkman mention a drone, he offered that the Sheriff’s Department would be able to lend its drone to the effort.

Village officials were eager to take Hallisy up on his offer. The plan is to use the drone to photograph the Dutch Gap Canal where it is difficult to access, document possible obstructions and then seek to get property owners to remove obstructions.

Some Village Board members were concerned that property owners be contacted before the drone is flown over the canal, so that no one was alarmed by its appearance.

The Dutch Gap Canal flows through southeast Bristol from about Highway C, around the Lake George area and then south into Illinois.

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