The lake had been purchased
from the original developers in 1970 by LABARCA (Lake Barcroft
entity under which the lake and dam operated was known as BBI, Barcroft
Beach Incorporated. This passed to LABARCA and another organization,
BARLAMA (Barcroft Lake Management Association) was created to manage
the lake. With the advent of the LBWID, it was necessary to negotiate
an easement to grant authority for the WID to operate the dam and
address environmental issues concerning the lake. This was done and WID
assumed control of BBI assets.
The first three WID trustees
set out to raise money to repair the dam. They succeeded in selling a
issue. At the same time, the Small Business Administration lent WID
$500,000 at a low interest rate. This was used to purchase part of the
bonds, which lowered the overall interest rate. With the financial
situation resolved, work on the dam began. The Allis-Chalmers
Corporation was contracted to fabricate a Bascule gate, which would
control the lake level at a specified height above sea level by opening
or closing the 12' gate as conditions warranted.
At the same time as the dam
was being repaired, the WID took advantage of the empty lake bed to
up the bottom of the lake and to remove tons of silt. Front end loaders
scooped dry silt into dump trucks and cleaned out coves that had been
clogged by the discharge from storm drains. The contractor worked long
hours to complete the land excavation before the arrival of freezing
weather. As many as fifty trucks at a time hauled away silt and moved
fill to the earthen sections at the end of the dam. By November of
1973, the washouts were restored and partial filling of the lake began.
During the winter and spring
of 1973-74, contractors started the final phase of the dam restoration.
The dam itself was modified to house the new Bascule gate. Large
hydraulic pistons were installed to raise and lower the gate
automatically to maintain a constant water level. Electrical systems
controlled the mechanisms to activate the pistons. In late April the
lake began to fill and by mid-summer the lake was filled. Some might
say that Hurricane Agnes was the best thing that ever happened to Lake
Barcroft. The dam now conformed to 1974 specifications. About ninety
thousand cubic yards of muck had been removed, and silt decanting
basins constructed at Beaches 5 and 3.
Thus, the WID came into being
and a new era in the saga of Lake Barcroft began.