Really, the costs of the maintenance are shared. Historically, the City has paid for the major maintenance projects, but Bowersock has paid for any improvements that are specifically for the benefit of power production. For example, Bowersock paid for a significant dam repair in the mid 1980s to build up the center portion of the dam, because it made it easier for Bowersock to raise the flashboards. Since this didn’t directly benefit the City, Bowersock paid the costs. Likewise, Bowersock paid to install the Obermeyer Gates. Even though the gates help keep the mill pond at a steady level, Bowersock felt that the benefit was primarily Bowersock’s so BMPC paid the costs of that installation and the rehabilitation that went along with it. On a daily basis, Bowersock provides the labor to construct, install, raise and maintain the flashboards that put the mill pond at the appropriate height for City water intakes. Since 1977, BMPC has supported approximately 46% of all costs to maintain the dam and preserve the millpond level at flashboard height of 812’ MSL. Absent the BMPC partnership, in order to maintain the Dam, the City would have to shoulder the entire cost burden. Undoubtedly, BMPC is able to maintain the flashboards in a raised position for significantly less than it could be done by the City. If the City did not pay for the major maintenance projects on the dam, Bowersock would not be able to remain in operation. At that point FERC would either require BMPC to decommission the dam, or the City would have to purchase it and take over full maintenance costs. Lawrence would need to expect to an increase in dam maintenance expenses of more than 100% in order to keep the millpond at the appropriate level for the full operation of the Kaw River Water Treatment Plant. Based on the cost share alone, the BMPC/Lawrence Partnership is a valuable public/private partnership, providing mutual benefit for both Bowersock and the City of Lawrence.
The Bowersock Dam Performs Key Functions for the City of Lawrence and Other Stakeholders
The previous Bowersock logo was adopted from one of the mill's first flour brands, Zephyr Flour. In its earliest operation, Bowersock served as a mill and a provider of mechanical power for the City of Lawrence...[more]
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