A privately owned dam is about all that controls the water level at Gull Lake. The large lake straddles Kalamazoo and Barry counties. The dam is a barrier for the downstream flow of water from an outflow channel near the south end of the lake. It’s about kaput. An association of lakefront property owners has been in place for some time educating residents about what the dam does and what can happen if it fails. One of the more notable end results of a failed dam is the potential of water levels on the lake falling from 4 to as much as 8 feet. The association has put a replacement project out to bid and they’re all coming back about a quarter-million dollars higher than expected. The Gull Lake Dam Association is now working to bolster its bank account to be able to meet the higher than expected costs.

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Original estimates put the dam replacement cost at about $700 thousand dollars.  The association is looking at a June deadline to raise the additional funds or face the need to re-bid the project which probably means even higher bids then.  An association spokesman says everyone who owns a home on the lake should be supporting the fundraising, but surprisingly, quite a few aren’t.