Contact: Jennifer Bolger Breceda
Vote comes on heels of rising repair cost estimates and new report outlining dangers of dam
MILWAUKEE – The Shorewood Village Board voted on Monday night to support the removal of the Estabrook Dam, joining the Milwaukee Common Council and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District who also passed similar resolutions.
Shorewood trustees unanimously supported the Board’s resolution urging Milwaukee County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to remove the dam as soon as possible. The board cited the significant costs associated with repair and maintenance of the dam as well as their commitment to improve the quality of the Milwaukee River.
“The Shorewood Village Board’s actions on Monday night show they understand the great impact the Milwaukee River has on their community,” said Jennifer Bolger Breceda, Executive Director, Milwaukee Riverkeeper. “Not only will removal of the dam save Shorewood residents tax dollars, it will improve the natural habitat of the Milwaukee River corridor, a key component of the Village’s community recreation.”
“This vote took place on the same day we learned the costs of repairing the dam are now nearly $2.3 million, up a half million dollars from previous estimates” added Bolger Breceda. “Costs of repair and maintenance over the dam’s potential 20 year lifespan now approach $6 million. As these costs continue to rise and more burden is placed on Milwaukee County taxpayers, it is becoming clear as day that the removal of the Estabrook Dam is the only responsible decision.”
The vote also came on the heels of a report released by Milwaukee County’s own Office of Emergency Management. In her report, Director Christine Westrich cites the increased risk of flood the dam creates as a significant danger to the county, as well as the cost and environmental harm, in calling the decision to repair the Estabrook Dam “an unrestrained operational decision.”
“We are thankful the Shorewood Village Board took action and called for the removal of the Estabrook dam” Bolger Breceda continued. “We encourage all Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to look at the numbers, look at the science and revisit this issue in light of how it will affect their constituents. It’s time to be fiscally and environmentally responsible and remove the Estabrook Dam to protect our river and Milwaukee County residents.”
More information about the campaign and facts about the Estabrook Dam can be found on Milwaukee Riverkeeper’s new website, www.savethemilwaukeeriver.com.