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Dam Repairs

UPDATE: 10-06-2015


Please be advised that in preparation for next year’s dam repair, we have reopened the LOFS gate valve to begin lowering the lake level.

Thank you – HAH Management Committee

Subject:                   LOFS Update

Date:                       September 16, 2015         

From:                      Jim Krygier, on behalf of the Management Committee

It’s time for good news!

I am very pleased to announce that we have completed the detailed remediation proposal to repair the dam on the Lake of the Four Seasons (LOFS). Our engineers from 2LMN and Terracon delivered our proposal to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) on schedule, September 15th.  This is an important milestone -- once ODNR officials receive the plan, they have forty-five days to review it and then either approve it or ask for explicit revisions.  Our consultants are cautiously optimistic that this process will go quickly.

The conceptual drawing of the remediation plan can be found on the Club website www.hideawayhillsclub.com.  The actual plan with accompanying engineering data and analysis is well over 100 pages.

In addition, on August 21st, Jim Lloyd, Curt Shonk of 2LMN, and I met with senior ODNR administrators Andy Ware, Rodney Tornes, Keith Banchowski, and Michael Bailey.  We shared our program schedule and stressed the importance of their role in making the HAH project successful.  They pledged to work with us to expedite the project.  We are hopeful that they will live up to this promise. 

The next few months promise a flurry of activity.  Our schedule calls for detailed construction plans and cost proposals to be finalized in the next two months in order to bid the project by year end. To accomplish this, we have already met with an excavation construction firm and asked for their advice, which has proven to be very helpful.

We have also begun work on a financing plan.  Once we are more confident about the cost projections, we will have an informational meeting open to all HAH members.  Once the Board decides upon a plan, there will need to be at least sixty days before we can schedule a member vote on the plan and proposed assessment.  This will allow enough time for all members to get their questions asked and answered.

Meanwhile, the water level of the LOFS has remained at approximately 812 feet above sea level, 3.5 feet below normal pool level.  We will need to begin slowly lowering the pool over the winter months so that construction can begin as soon as is wise in 2016.    

Thank you for your continued patience and support.  As a reminder, this topic is discussed at every Management Committee meeting (second and fourth Tuesdays) and at each Board meeting on the third Tuesday of each month. You are encouraged to attend to ensure you are getting the most accurate and current information on this topic between email briefings.


Preliminary Dam Drawing



Subject:                LOFS Update

Date:                     August 7, 2015                    

From:                    Jim Krygier, on behalf of the Management Committee

It’s time for another update on the Lake of Four Seasons (LOFS) dam, and I am pleased to report that our engineers from 2LMN and Terracon have made significant progress on the construction design for the LOFS remediation.  HAH has received a modified design drawing and computer cross-sections that looks quite promising.  We will share it with the members once it is certified by 2LMN. The main difference from the original drawing (posted online in March at www.hideawayhillsclub.com) is that design changes will enable us to build the dam lower and still accomplish Class 1 status.  We are also hopeful that reduced costs can be accomplished because we will use less material.

2LMN has also completed the Inundation Plan, an ODNR requirement for all earthen dams.  The Inundation Plan is primarily a computer projection of what would occur in the event of a “Probable Maximal Flood” and even a dam failure.  It is our expectation that ODNR will review and approve this quickly as our engineers and ODNR staff have worked closely on its development.    This is an important milestone because without approval the construction plan cannot move forward.

On August 21, Jim Lloyd, Curt Shonk of 2LMN, and I will meet with senior ODNR administrators. The agenda includes our request to reclassify the dam from Class 1 to Class 2 and our updated construction schedule.  We are hopeful that elevating the dialogue to senior staff will help to emphasize the importance of the LOFS project to the HAH membership as we suspect that ODNR’s attention has been diverted by the problems at Buckeye Lake and statewide toxic algae blooms.  We will let you know how this goes.

Our schedule calls for the construction plans to be finalized by our engineering consultants and then be submitted to ODNR for project approval by early September. Meanwhile, the water level of the LOFS has remained at approximately 812 feet above sea level, 3.5 feet below normal pool level.  We expect it will stay there for the next month or so and then we will slowly begin lowering the lake so that construction can begin as soon as is wise in 2016.    

We also continue to discuss finance options but will hold off on a final plan until we are more certain of the final project cost.  Please be assured that Hide-A-Way Hills Club Members will have ample time to review the plan and discuss any recommendations before any vote is scheduled.

Thank you for your patience and support.  As a reminder, this topic is discussed at every Management Committee meeting (second and fourth Tuesdays) and at each Board meeting on the third Tuesday of each month. You are encouraged to attend to ensure you are getting the most accurate and current information on this topic between email briefings.

Subject:                LOFS Update

Date:                     April 30, 2015

From:                    Jim Krygier, on behalf of the Management Committee


Since my March 27th update, there have been three key developments that I would like to share with you.  That update indicated that our lake remediation plan for the Lake of the Four Seasons (LOFS) dam had been approved by ODNR and we could move forward with the detailed design phase.

As our engineering consultants moved forward with a hydrologic and hydraulic study needed for the detailed design phase, they concluded that the LOFS was misclassified as a Class I dam.  We have submitted a request to ODNR to change the dam to Class II status.  This will likely have a significant impact on the final dam design and subsequently will likely reduce the overall cost.  Copy of the request is attached.

Second, our engineering consultants also have been working to update the proposed construction schedule.  Due to the projected time line needed for finalizing and obtaining approvals for our final detailed design combined with the short construction season for earthen dams, we believe it will be impossible to complete construction in 2015.  This means that LOFS will need to be lowered for construction in 2016.

When the two developments above were combined with the fact that our ongoing monitoring efforts now document that no further degradation on the LOFS upstream slope and no seepage in the slippage area have occurred, the HAH Club moved forward with a formal request to ODNR to reconsider its directive to maintain LOFS at the lower water level.  Since the lake currently is close to its normal level of 815.6 feet above sea level due to the recent spring thaw and rain, permission to keep the lake at its current level would enable the Club to enjoy some type of boating season.  We do not know how long it will take to get a response on this request.  A copy of this request is also attached.

I encourage everyone to read these documents closely.  There are plenty of questions and details that will have to be worked out but we will strive to represent the Club interests to the best of our ability and share information as the process moves forward.

Thank you for your patience and support.




Subject:                LOFS Boating Status – Electric Trolling Motors ONLY

Date:                     April 17, 2015

From:                    Management Committee

As you may have noticed, the water level of the Lake of the Four Seasons (LOFS) has risen dramatically in the last few weeks as a result of the winter thaw and spring rains.  At this time, we are approximately six inches below the normal pool level of 815.6 feet above sea level.

The Club is still under the direction of ODNR to maintain a reduced lake level and the lake drain is still open for this reason.  However, the recent rains have created greater input than could be drained.  As the rainy season is upon us, we can expect to see some fluctuations.

As a reminder, the Management Committee instituted a policy last year to allow electric trolling no-wake motors only in LOFS to minimize potential damage to the dam and shoreline.  That policy is still in effect.  We will continue to monitor the situation and work with ODNR to ensure that we are compliant with their directive.

In the meantime, work on the detailed design of the LOFS dam remediation is ongoing.  Additional borings have been completed and the consultant engineers are developing plans.  We will report back as we receive further information.

Thank you for your patience and support.


Logan Daily News - Hide-A-Way Hills remediation plan approved by ODNR


To:                          HAH Club Members
From:                    Jim Krygier, on behalf of the Management Committee
Date:                     January 16, 2015
Subject:               LOFS January Briefing

Work needed to develop a Lake of the Four Seasons (LOFS) Remediation plan has continued throughout the holiday season.  On December 23, our engineering consultants, 2LMN and Terracon, submitted a report on their formal geotechnical analysis of the LOFS to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).  This is an important step because the final remediation plans will be based on this analysis, and our engineers and ODNR must be in agreement with it before we can officially proceed. 

State law gives ODNR 45 days to respond to our submission, and it is our understanding that they will meet this deadline.  We anticipate that ODNR will want to have further discussions, but this is a very important step.  The report is available for your review at the Club Office during regular office hours; it will not be distributed by email since it includes several hundred pages of details. 

As part of our submission, 2LMN and Terracon have provided a proposed ”Landslide Remediation” conceptual drawing.  This drawing can be viewed on the HAH website www.hideawayhillsclub.com  under the Members tab.  The drawing shows how the dam would be reconfigured to address the areas where the slips occurred moving the crest 74 feet to the south and raising the height of the dam by 3 feet.   While we are working on the dam, we must raise the crest to bring it into compliance with current state regulations.  For perspective in viewing the drawing, you should try to imagine yourself standing on the boat ramp area by the emergency spillway and looking westward across the top of the dam. 

Note that this is not a final design drawing but a conceptual diagram for ODNR to view as they evaluate the geotechnical data.  Once ODNR finishes its review and confirms agreement with the analysis, 2LMN and Terracon can then develop the required design drawings.  In fact, they have already begun preliminary work on these as we are relatively confident that ODNR will accept the analysis.

An important issue for all of us is the cost of the remediation plan and how we might finance it.  Members of the Board and Management Committee have been aggressively approaching numerous elected officials, governmental entities and financial institutions to explore our options.  Although we do not yet have a final recommended plan, we do want to be prepared to move forward quickly once we do. 

To help us with this, we also asked the engineers for a preliminary cost estimate for the LOFS remediation.  A project of this magnitude will be expensive and the current projections are in the $1.5 to $2.0 million range.  We will continue to refine this estimate, but nothing will be final until we actually are able to accept bids from contractors.  However, the Board and Management Committee want to share this estimate now so that all members are informed and aware.   

It is too early to have a definite construction schedule, but such work will clearly be impacted by weather, financing, and contractor issues. 

In an attempt to maximize the 2015 boating season, we also submitted a request to ODNR on December 2nd to determine the required level of the LOFS at this point in time.  With the rain and snow that we’ve had, LOFS is naturally refilling slowly although we are draining a small amount to ensure we can finish the dredging project at the north end of the lake scheduled for early February.  ODNR will notify us of their decision on the level of the lake once they finish their review of the geotechnical analysis.  Our engineers have stated the dam is safe in its current state.

We are doing all we can to work aggressively with our engineers and ODNR to bring this situation to a positive end and in a reasonable time frame.  It is a complex issue and a major undertaking for all of us in Hide-A-Way Hills. This briefing and others before it are intended to keep all members informed so that we can reach agreement on how best to proceed.  Additional project briefings occur at every Board and Management Committee meetings, and all are welcome to attend. 

HAH Management


To:                  Hide-A-Way Hills Club Members
From:              Jim Krygier, on behalf of the HAH Management Committee
Date:               November 11, 2014
Subject:           Lake of the Four Seasons Dam/ Remediation Progress Report

The last few weeks have been very busy for our engineering consultants.

You will recall from earlier reports that our two engineering firms, 2LMN and Terracon, were continuing their analysis of the global stability of the LOFS dam.  They obtained information from the borings and the recently installed diagnostic instruments, the inclinometers and piezometers, on the dam.  (For more information on these, see the September 4th update on our website www.hideawayhillsclub.com under the Members tab.)

On October 15th, the engineering firms submitted the data collected to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  In response, ODNR requested further engineering reports.  Specifically, they have asked for a stability analysis of the LOFS dam on both the Upstream and Downstream sides including safety projections for Normal Pool Conditions (when the lake is at its typical level of 815.5 feet above sea level). They also requested projections for potential, but very extreme and highly unlikely opposite conditions described as Elevated Pool and Rapid Drawdown.   For those not familiar with these terms, an Elevated Pool describes a situation where the lake would rise above its normal level quickly, but not drain through the principal spillway properly for some reason such as a clogged spillway.  Conversely, a Rapid Drawdown would describe a situation where the lake was draining much too quickly.

This follow up information was submitted to ODNR on October 31, and they are reviewing the data at this time.  A meeting has been scheduled with them on November 17 along with our engineering consultants to determine the next steps in developing a remediation plan for the dam.

We will report back next week with what we learn from the meeting. 

UPDATED 9-19-2014

To All HAH Members:

As you have probably noticed the borings on the LOFS Dam have been completed.  The piezometers, which measure moisture content in the dam, and the inclinometers, which detect additional movement on the upstream side of the dam, have been  installed and have been read.  The staff gauge has been mounted to the principal spillway to allow for easier lake level readings.

The lab work is in progress, and the engineers are working toward the requested October report for ODNR which will include the soil logs, cross sections, test results and readings.  This will take a certain amount of time to analyze all the data.  Once this step is completed, the Remediation Plan process can be finalized and sent on to ODNR for their approval.

HAH Management will continue to update our Members as new information becomes available.

UPDATED 9-5-2014

I am writing again to update you on the status of the remediation project for the Lake of the Four Seasons dam (LOFS). If you've missed previous updates, would like to read a set of FAQs, or wish to know more about the Dam, please be sure to check out our website at www.hideawayhillsclub.com. (Look for LOFS Updates under the Member tab).
If you have been to the Hills recently, then you likely have seen the drillers on the dam.  Terracon, our geotechnical engineering firm, has been working on the nine test borings into the dam for analytical purposes. The borings penetrate the soil until reaching bedrock, and then an additional ten feet of rock is cored. At various depths, soil samples are taken throughout the drilling.  Our deepest boring to date has been 139 feet.
The first three borings, dug on the upstream side (lake side) of the dam below the normal level of the lake, were completed last week. Inclinometers have been installed to measure the movement, if any, in the soil of the dam. Initial readings have been taken and recorded, and the devices will be monitored regularly.
The second set of three borings has just been completed mid-slope on the downstream side of the dam (toward the front gate). Piezometers, devices that measure the level and pressure of groundwater, have been installed in these borings.
The boring project should finish this week when the final three borings are drilled at the "toe" of the downstream side of the dam. Piezometers will also be installed in these locations. Once the drilling is completed, all of the material and information obtained in the drilling will be analyzed in a soil laboratory in Columbus.
Preliminary reports from the engineers and technicians performing the project have not identified any serious new problems.  While this is good news, note that it is very "preliminary."
As a reminder, this activity is jointly managed by 2LMN, our primary consultant on the project, and the HAH Management Committee.  The Management Committee will continue to coordinate this project with the engineers as the analysis proceeds and to communicate regularly with ODNR.  It will likely be a number of weeks before we receive additional findings. We will keep you posted as information becomes available.
Jim Krygier, Todd Kaho, Rich Rudawsky, Kevin Mclain, Paul Heimberger


UPDATED 8-11-2014

Columbus Dispatch- 
Hide-A-Way Hills residents await fix for leaking dam.

HIDE-A-WAY HILLS, Ohio — It’s been a beautiful summer for boating, but the docks at the Lake of Four Seasons here are empty. On shore, neat rows of pontoon boats remain covered in tarps, and the boat launch doesn’t come close to reaching a shoreline that’s 80 inches lower than normal.

The culprit? Horizontal cracks along the slope of the lake’s earthen dam showed up last fall and are continuing to widen, a sign that the dam is slipping.

Although officials say the dam does not pose immediate danger, the progression caused enough concern for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to prevent the lake’s refilling, a decision that’s keeping power boats out of the water until the issue is resolved. It’s left residents of the resort community with a shadow of the lake they’re used to enjoying during the hottest months of the year.

“Our shoreline is mud,” said Jim Krygier, a resident and chairman of the Hide-A-Way Hills Club Management Committee. “If you live on the lake, it’s not the same.”

Built in 1967, the Lake of Four Seasons dam is an earthen dam similar to the vast majority of Ohio dams. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Dam Inventory, 1,399 of the state’s 1,483 dams are earthen, and a total of 940 dams are used for recreational purposes.

Although it is common for dams to need repairs as they age, there are no other dams in the state experiencing cracks similar to those at Lake of Four Seasons, Natural Resources spokesman Matt Eiselstein said.

The community is working with Lancaster-based engineering firm 2LMN and other subcontractors to determine the extent of the problem. After extensive surveys, soil borings, measurements and soil sample collections, it’s still not clear what exactly is making the dam crack, 2LMN project manager Curtis Shonk said.

“We thought it was a smaller, isolated issue but now we have to step back and take a look at the entire dam,” Shonk said. “I think, if we just left it, it could get worse.”

Shonk said 2LMN will complete more soil borings and tests to investigate further before coming up with a repair action plan for Natural Resources. Eiselstein said the agency expects to receive a plan to remedy the issue by Oct. 1.

For now, the Hide-A-Way Hills maintenance crew is inspecting the area daily, monitoring the dam for any changes and sending results to Natural Resources, general manager Randy Swetnam said.

But as the summer flies by with no concrete plan of action in sight, residents are wondering how long they will have to wait before they can fully use their lake again and are bracing themselves for potential costs.

Belinda Augustus, a real-estate agent who sells homes in Hide-A-Way Hills, said sales have not been hurt because the club’s other amenities have not been affected. But she noted that some potential buyers are holding off until the exact cost to fix the dam is on paper.

“It’s the uncertainty that’s bothering people,” Augustus said. “Good news or bad news, we need definite news.”

It’s been a sad summer for Jim Lloyd, president of the Hide-A-Way Hills Club board and an avid boater. He’s lived there since 1992. Despite the disappointment, Lloyd said club members so far have been willing to wait it out.

“We want to get it fixed right,” he said.




UPDATED 8-2-2014


Summary of the update to the Board on July 15, 2014:



Lake of Four Seasons Dam Report – Jim Krygier

           Sonar surveying of the front side of the dam, including the underwater surface has been completed.  We have also comprehensively surveyed the downstream (Security) side, so we now have a very accurate portrayal of what our dam looks like.  This identified where the slips were, where the cracks occurred. We are currently just short of 6 ½ feet below normal pool and we are no longer draining the lake.


We have received the results from the borings that were completed by DLZ a few months ago.  DLZ is concerned that there are foundational issues that are deep below the dam.  They have proposed two additional phases of boring.  The first phase will cost approximately $72,000 and depending upon the information from that, as much as $200,000 or more to do a second phase.  All of these borings would be done on the downstream side of the dam.


2LMN was not comfortable with this proposal; they did not feel that it addressed the issues that they had brought up with DLZ in terms of a possible conceptual remediation plan for the dam.  2LMN proposed they would like to go out and aggressively solicit additional consulting engineering input.  Their first contact was an engineering firm named TerraCon.  TerraCon came to the dam and has subsequently brought us back a different plan for boring.  Their plan is for a smaller amount of borings than DLZ proposed.  That proposal is for $52,000.  2LMN will be talking with TerraCon and trying to refine this proposal. Additionally, 2LMN is going to at least one other engineering firm to solicit a proposal and further analysis.


In the meantime, 2LMN has done the studies that we commissioned last month, which were the hydraulic and hydrologic studies (H&H).  They identified the shape of the dam and how much water we need to control when we ultimately come up with a remediation plan.  A conceptual proposal would move the crest of the dam away from the lake about 30 feet, increase the height 3 feet and lessen the slope on the upstream side.  We will receive a recommendation from 2LMN on which engineering firm they want to use and what the next plan will be.  We hope that decision will come within the next week to 10 days.  We will then be doing additional borings and there will be installation of inclinometers which basically show how much the slip is moving and if the cracks are getting bigger.


ODNR sent us a letter and they want progress reports on a daily basis, which we are currently doing.  They also want to see us sign a contract with one of these companies for the further analysis and they want to see from that firm what their plan is.  By October they have requested a proposed remediation plan. We need to move to another geotechnical firm since DLZ does not seem to be responding to the schedules that we have.


Greg Ptacin pointed out that the 3 foot increase in the height would have been necessary anyway because of the new ODNR Probable Maximal Flood calculations.   





To:                        Hide-A-Way Hills Club Members

From:                   Jim Krygier, on behalf of the Management Committee

Date:                    June 2, 2014

Subject:               Lake of the Four Seasons Dam Remediation Progress Report          

I am writing to update you on the status of the remediation project being proposed for the Lake of the Four Seasons dam (LOFS).  When I last reported on this topic in early May, we were awaiting the delivery of the proposed remediation plan from our primary civil engineering contractor, 2LMN of Lancaster.   2LMN is collaborating with DLZ, a geotechnical consulting firm that is analyzing the soil and structural aspects of the dam.

DLZ has prepared a “draft” analysis of the dam for 2LMN and HAH.  In their investigation, they have determined that there are areas of the dam that require a significant amount of additional diagnostic work.  Using historical documents, they have identified that there was a comparable slip in 1967, soon after the dam was completed.  Because they fear that the two events are related, DLZ proposes performing additional deeper borings, down to the foundation material soils and bedrock in order to assess the global stability of the dam.  These proposed borings would be done from a barge floated on the lake.  This is a relatively expensive operation being proposed. 

HAH and 2LMN are evaluating this proposal by seeking additional expert evaluations.  We have also commissioned a sonar survey of the lakeside face of the lake dam to provide us with a more detailed and comprehensive view.  This information should help us determine our next steps.

Our original goal was to finish the first phase of the project in the spring of 2014 and then submit our plan to ODNR for review and approval.  As discussed above, our consultants have not yet converged upon a recommended plan and discussions are ongoing.  We continue to keep ODNR involved in the process.  Please rest assured we will find an effective fix to this problem and the lake will get repaired. What we are still working to determine is how to repair it, what it will cost and when it will be done.  As we get the answers to these questions we will share that information with the members.

As you know, ODNR has directed us to keep the LOFS at its current level until we submit remediation plans, get them approved, and then make repairs.  We have also taken precautionary steps to minimize the risk of damage to the shoreline around LOFS.  This situation will have to continue for the foreseeable future.  This is clearly a lousy scenario, but we hope you understand we are making every attempt to preserve the valuable resource that we all share, LOFS.   

To ensure that you remain informed of progress on this project, you are encouraged to attend regular briefings that will be provided at every HAH Management Committee meeting and Board meeting.  We will also provide updates on the HAH website as events unfold. 

You can be assured that this project is our highest priority.

Jim Krygier, Todd Kaho, Rich Rudawsky, Kevin McLain, Paul Heimberger




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