Members of the Barron County Board of Supervisors Executive Committee have been asked to consider whether to partly fund proposed improvements to the grounds surrounding the Chetek Dam.

Committee members discussed the proposal with county staff members and department heads at their regular monthly meeting Wednesday, June 2, 2021. The proposal was also on the agenda for the County Board Property Committee, which met Monday, June 7.

The Executive Committee members were asked to keep the proposal in mind because they make financial decisions to submit to the County Board.

The Property Committee has asked county staff to work with Eau Claire-based Ayres and Associates to get more detailed information on the idea, Executive Committee members were told.

Supervisor John Banks, Dist. 3, Chetek, sent a list of ideas to the Executive Committee. They include:

• Cleaning up “brush and trees on the west side of thh bay so property owners on the adjacent street have a better view of the area facing their home.”

• Changes for the “property below the dam (where) the shoreline is very rocky and not very appealing (or) conducive for fishing or just relaxing.

• Improving some docks in the vicinity of the dam.

• A possible elevated boardwalk for pedestrians, and, possibly, an eagle or osprey nesting platform.

“This area is a real asset … and I feel parking, handicapped accessibility, fishing access, overall appearance and shoreline cleanup would be major improvements,” Banks added

Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told the committee that the Sheriff’s Department would be interested in solar-powered lighting to allow for night fishing “and deter nefarious activities.”

There’s been a big increase in boating activities near the dam, the sheriff added.

Jeff French, county administrator, told the committee that he would like to discuss the proposal with the Chetek City Council to get their input. He said he went to Chetek on Memorial Day “and many people were (there) fishing both sides (of the river).

“I don’t anticipate asking Chetek for dollars,” French said later, “because it’s our dam and our property.”

In addition, “Chetek has been a great partner in our manned recycling site,” giving the county land for the site, he added.

“Bottom-line we have a good working relationship with (the Chetek City Council) and I’d like to keep it that way.”