On Monday, Aug. 16, the Steering Committee for the Whitewater Park Build/Stoughton Dam removal unanimously voted to rescind the dam removal grant, then move forward to demolish the dam and build a whitewater park.
A Committee of the Whole, directed by the City leaders, will hold a public virtual meeting on Sept. 1 for this project and recent Steering Committee vote. The details are as follows: the DNR will not approve the dam removal grant if the dam is not completely removed.
The DNR will permit the dam removal if it is to "improve the condition of the river." Those in favor of the WWP build want to retain the concrete base for a surf feature. Dan Glynn, City Dir. of the Parks and Rec. Dept. plans to apply for a "dam reconstruction" grant after the demolition and to use the funds to create a whitewater feature.
Questions: How much will this cost if the grant is disapproved? (Three grants have been disapproved already)
What will the water level be upstream, downstream, and the downtown Mill Pond? Contamination concerns?
With more climate changes happening, how does this impact this project? Sustainability for the future?
What happens to our taxes for the City of Stoughton residents? What are significant budget constraints and impact on property values?
Are the City Services able to handle a WWP build? Incidents and referrals to SPD, EMS, trash pick up, and other?What are the maintenance and operating costs of a WWP?
Currently the City states that the cost is $72,000 per year to maintain the Stoughton Dam. Not true -- this figure is based on the $520,000 expense in 2009 that was voted on by the City to restore the Stoughton Dam -- an expense now being thrown away.
A City Department Head stated it cost approximately $8000 per year for maintenance. In December 2020, the DNR stated to me that the Stoughton Dam, a large dam, is in good working order and should last another 40-50 years.
Dams maintain water level, contamination constraints, and flood control. Please contact your alder about these questions and ask for answers now before this is voted on by the City of Stoughton leaders and alders in a future City Council meeting.