So about that dam vote…

Over at The Political Environment, James Rowen has a great piece noting the County Board’s decision to spend even more taxpayer money on the Estabrook Park dam, which many residents believe should be torn down.

That sound of water running surrounding the Milwaukee County Board’s decision preserving the broken obstruction known as the Estabrook Dam and deciding against letting the Milwaukee River flow naturally to Lake Michigan is more taxpayer money being flushed down the drain.

As the link Rowen provided notes, the board’s most recent decision will push the full cost of renovating the Estabrook Park dam to nearly $3.4 million, a figure that’s nearly double the cost of demolishing it.

The board’s Nov. 9 approval of the fish passage amendment pushed the full cost of renovating the 1930s-era dam to nearly $3.4 million, or double the expense of demolishing it. Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb Sr., a longtime advocate of dam repair, sponsored the amendment.

In his veto message, Abele asked the board to sustain his veto so that he could prepare a financing plan for dam demolition early next year.

Abele called demolition fiscally responsible since it is estimated to cost $1.7 million.

“Removal of the dam is the best and most effective fish passage,” Abele said. He reminded supervisors that removal was supported by the Milwaukee Common Council, Shorewood Village Board and Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

It’s also notable that the board’s action to combine veto overrides of additional funding to repair the Estabrook Park dam and cuts to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department met with disapproval from a number of supervisors who felt the measures were best left voted on separately.


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