Village Board OKs $30,000 study on dam removal, repair

By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

The East Troy Dam was once again on the Village Board’s agenda Dec. 4 as the discussion continued on whether to repair the dam, which was damaged in the July 12 flooding, or remove it.

At the Nov. 20 meeting, the board had asked Department of Public Works Director Jason Equitz to move forward with a full study on the dam to answer the many questions board members and the public have about the true costs of removing vs. repairing.

In a memo to the board, Equitz said the cost of the study, to be done by the village’s engineer, Lynch and Associates, would be $22,500 for the cross sections and sampling, and $8,000 to scan the impoundment.

Gary Randle, from Lynch, and Chris Goodwin, from Ayres Associates, were at the meeting to answer questions from the board. Goodwin manages the water resources at Ayres and has experience in dam design, dam inspections, spillway hydraulics, dam hydrology, embankment design, dam permitting, and preparing emergency action plans and operations plans for dams, according to the Ayres website.

While Randle and Goodwin were in attendance to answer the board’s questions on the study, audience members began asking them questions almost immediately. This prompted Village Board President Scott Seager to motion to reopen citizen participation so audience members could ask their question. The board approved the motion.

Seager asked Goodwin if there was anyway to get the Department of Natural Resources “target” off the location by changing the dam to a spillway or if there was another option available for it to not be and official dam that fell under DNR oversite.

Goodwin said no, stating any type of blockage to the natural waterway would be considered a dam, whether it was 3 feet or 12 feet.

Other ideas floated Monday night included the possibility of forming a lake district, which would be a taxing authority, to take over ownership if the dam and fund the repairs and maintenance down the line.

The board approved the $30,000 for the study after more discussion. See the Dec. 6 edition of the East Troy Times for more of what happened at the Dec. 4 meeting.


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