ST. CLOUD - A dam in the Sauk River that was built to create a place for swimming is being removed. St. Cloud has received two grants totaling $418,000 to take the old WPA-era dam out of the water near Whitney Park, and repair the erosion that's been done to the streambank over the years.

Park and Recreation Director Scott Zlotnik says the boy scouts used to have a camp next to the dam back in the 1930s.

He says, "this particular one was installed to create recreation. Years ago a collaboration with the Boy Scouts built the dam to provide swimming in the river. But, what had happened, as far as I know, they put the low head dam in and then they put boards in to raise the water level so it would be appropriate for swimming. But, no one really planned back in the day, when the ice flows would come down it would take out a lot of the structure that was implemented, i.e. the wood".

Zlotnik says A pedestrian bridge that was built in the 1980s that connects Whitney Park and the Sauk River Park in Sartell will stay.

Zlotnik says the bulk of the demolition work, and bank restoration, will be done this summer and early fall.

Map of the Sauk River Dam area, image courtesy of the city of St. Cloud