Forward Janesville Supports Removal of Monterey Dam
After careful consideration, the Forward Janesville Board of Directors has voted to support the removal of the Monterey Dam on the Rock River.
Removal of the dam will likely lead to changes in the river’s shoreline, particularly near the current Monterey Bay area. If the dam is removed, we must ensure that the new shoreline area becomes a community asset. We believe that funds for a first-class shoreline restoration (such as the rendering completed by the city’s consultant, Interfluve) should be in place before the dam is removed.
Given our ongoing interest in the ARISE downtown redevelopment plan, we also carefully considered projections about changes in the river’s water level after removal. While it is impossible to know exactly how water levels will change after the dam is removed, we are comfortable with Interfluve’s projections.
While the concerns discussed above are valid and warrant continued discussion, they do not change the fact that removal of the Monterey Dam is the best decision for city. Removal of the dam will return the river to its natural state; will increase recreation opportunities and river engagement; will improve water quality; and could create a tremendous community asset when the new shoreline emerges. Removal is also the wisest fiscal decision for the city, as the dam will almost certainly continue to need costly repairs throughout its lifespan.
Therefore, we support removal of the Monterey Dam, and encourage the city council to vote for removal at the March 27, 2017 council meeting.