The bond issue, authorized by a vote of the people in November, 1910, for the construction of the masonry dam on Cedar river, was $1,400,00.
Construction of the dam was first undertaken by day labor under the supervision of the city engineer.
Under the day labor system something more than $700,000 of the available money had been expended on the dam site and in the vicinity up to April, 1913.
It was then decided by the city council and board of public works to build the dam by contract. The city engineer estimated the cost at $775,000. Bids were called for and five bids were opened by the board of public works on June 13, 1913.
The highest bid was $976,070.50; the lowest bid was $687,110, the latter being nearly $88,000 less than the city engineer's estimate of the cost of the work.
The low bidder was the Nettleton-Bruce-Eschbach Company, and the contract was awarded this firm on June 23, 1913. Work under the contract began July 7, 1913.
This contract called for completion of the dam to the height of 1,535 feet above city datum. As the work progressed the city authorities determined to increase the height of the the dam by forty-five feet above the height called for in the contract. Accordingly, in June, 1914, the Nettleton-Bruce-Eschbach Company was authorized to buuild the dam up to 1,600 feet above city datum.
The whole work was done and the dam completed at a total cost to the city under three contracts of $701,000--about $74,000 less than the city engineer's estimated cost to the lower elevation of 1,555 feet above city datum.
The dam was completed in November, 1914, and accepted by the city early in December following. It was built on the site chosen by the city authorities and upon which half the money realized from the sale of bonds had been expended before the contract for construction was let.
No fault has ever been found with the dam. The councilmen who have issued a statement as the result of their recent visit to the dam find it "an excellent piece of work, in as good condition as when constructed and standing as firm as Gibraltar."
The failure of the Cedar river project has never been and can not be attributed to any defect in the dam, for there is none. The loss of water from the basin behind the dam is entirely through the porous earth formation of the north bank of the river.
The masonry dam was built where the city authorities ordered it to be built. It was built under contract at a great saving of money to the city. The character of construction has never been and not be questioned.