MOUNT VERNON -- On Friday, March 20, 2020, following the prior week’s significant rainfall, Mount Vernon Mayor Matt Starr and City Engineer Brian Ball visited the Knox Cattle Dam off of Yauger Road in the Landings subdivision.
A goose carcass was blocking the approximate six-inch primary outlet drainage pipe in the lake impounded by the Knox Cattle Dam causing an elevated water level. Also, due to the blockage of the primenay outlet excess, water runoff was following over the weirs causing outlet channel erosion to downstream embankment of this dam.
On Saturday, Ball along with several non-Landing citizens attempted to remove the goose from the primary outlet. This attempt was unsuccessful. Subsequently, on Monday, March 23, the City engaged a contractor to remove the goose from the primary outlet as well as to remove the extension pipe section from the primary outlet in order to reduce flow over the weir.
The erosion downstream of the weir has continued and has started to undercut the grouted section stone slope protection adjacent to the weir thereby increasing risk of dam failure.
“We feel that it is a necessary risk reduction measure to lower the water level for the time being,” Ball said.
Under chapter 920 of the Codified Ordinances of the City of Mount Vernon, the City is authorized to enter upon the property and to perform these types of corrective actions. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is aware of the City’s recent actions.
“We always notify the Ohio Department of Natural Resources of everything that we are doing,” Starr said. “With a sizable rain forecast, it was important to act quickly for the public’s protection.”
While the case of ownership of the dam continues to remain unanswered, the City’s temporary relief action is expected to handle the possible heavy rainfall over the weekend.