East Troy Village Board still gathering information on dam repair/removal

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Village Board again discussed options for removing or repairing the East Troy Dam over Honey Creek at the Nov. 20 meeting.

Several residents addressed the board during citizen participation cautioning the board on proceeding forward on removing the dam without all the costs laid out. The board had requested the village’s engineer, Lynch and Associates, come back with cost “options” on both the removal and repair options on the dam.

With the “shopping list” in hand, Trustee Matt Johnson said from what he could see the price difference between removing (estimated at about $600,000 now) and repairing (estimated at $750,000) were close enough that losing the lake “over $150,000” wasn’t something he thought was a good idea.

However, the cost of possible dredging the lake, which some East Troy Lake Association members and lake homeowners have said they would like, could dramatically add to the cost of keeping the dam and lake. Sarah Nunn, of Lynch and Associates, said dredging was a “want” and not a “need” in this matter.

“Every time we’ve talked about this, we’ve talked about dredging,” Johnson said. “If dredging is truly a want and not a need, it changes things.”

Trustee John J. Jacoby agreed, saying he’s heard people say there is “no point in having the dam if dredging isn’t done.”

The board had a long discussion about dredging and motioned to allow Steve Rostkowski, of the East Troy Lake Association, to speak.

Board members asked him what he would like to see and he said it would be his preference to do some dredging, but keep the soil onsite and build up the spillway with the soil and let it dewater there, which would also help build up a walking path.

Nunn reminded the board that dredging could be done in as little or as much as the board could afford from $100,000 to the full, estimated $1.4 million.

“There’s nothing saying you have to go in and remove half or all of it, there are options from a budget standpoint,” she said.

While the debate continues on what to do with the dam, Public Works Director Jason Equitz said he said a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources requesting an extension on the DNR’s timeline to give the village some room to investigate all the options and create a plan for either removal or repair.

Equitz also informed the board the dam grant application deadline has been extended to April 30. State funding available for removing the dam is 100 percent up to $400,000. Funding available for repairing the dam is 50 percent of the first $400,000 and 25 percent of the next $800,000.

Residents expressed concerns about the cost of removal Lynch has presented to the board because much of the information used in that assessment was taken from studies done in the early 2000s. One resident even made an allegation that the removal numbers were “biased.”

Johnson addressed this with Nunn and reminded the audience that the initial report, which they were working off of was just to get the board ballpark figures and full study would be done before anything was decided on. The cost for that study is expected to be about $25,000 and the board approved moving forward with it.


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