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Saturday, March 25, 2017

Anonymous Column - "Pass It On" Monterey Dam Edition

"Pass it on" is a Rock Netroots "anonymous" feature of unique comments, thoughts and observations on current local topics and politics.

UPDATED: March 26, 2017 (4:35 PM)

On The Monterey Dam:

✦ I haven't heard all that much about the Monterey Dam from family or neighbors. In fact, I thought the city made the decision on it already. It's a shame that we have to buy the biased Gazette to get a story on it.

✦ Been hearing some Janesville folks make the claim that removing the Monterey Dam from the Rock River is "what's best for the city." Who exactly knows what is "best" for the city and which priority is everyone willing to accept to make that distinction? If saving money is always the top priority, good luck with that. May as well dismantle everything our taxes pay for.

✦ Repair the dam!

✦ Tear out the dam!

✦ Save the dam. Tear out the city!

✦ Wow. The Janesville kleptocracy is throwing everything they have at those hoping to save the dam. They even enlisted kids from civil "engineering" class at Craig HS to opine their opposition to the dam. Why doesn't the city and its media enabler Gazette do that for all the important decisions? Let the kids from all of Janesville schools vote on it. It'll be the closest thing to democracy Janesville has seen in 90 years.

✦ Unfortunately, the kids from Craig HS went the red state tea party route on the dam. They oppose saving the dam for sentimental reasons. Primarily the sentiment they expect to have in the future by parting with money to pay for inevitable maintenance again down the road. Was it civil engineering class or rightwing engineering? Sad!

✦ Interesting how important it is to so many in Janesville that the river be allowed to return "back to nature." They certainly made the case for tearing out the Centerway Dam. Indianford too!

✦ Tear out the city! Nature!

✦ City officials said the river will drop only five inches through downtown without the dam. Yet, I haven't heard if that determination was made with or without the new height rule for Indianford. They need to come clean and clarify that projection.

✦ What's the consensus when they officially raise the Indianford locks five inches higher for the first time ever and then remove Monterey? Janesville, Home of the Mud Pull Nationals?

✦ It's great that a Janesville resident is willing to donate $200,000 to save Monterey Dam should the city decide to keep it. A very generous offer indeed. But he could have structured it as an incentive to challenge the ARISE rubes to open the downtown TIF account for matching funds up to $200K. That would have made it $400K. It's not called a slush fund for nothing. But could'a, should'a, would'a. Too late now.

✦ One council member made a great case to buy a new dam. She said if the city makes the repairs, it would only be fixing the most deteriorated portion of the dam and compared it to making repairs on an old car, delaying the vehicle's inevitable demise and adding new expenses in the process.

✦ Has anyone thought that the Monterey and Centerway dams have both a functional and symbiotic relationship with Indianford? The downstream dams provide a step up to keep access open and water levels stable near major drop-offs in the river's floor during normal/low water conditions. Together, the dams work like a water ladder.

✦ A city able to afford shorting itself by giving away a million dollars a year in downtown property tax revenue for the next 27 years should easily afford to fix what some call a large brick in the river. No?

✦ Removing dams throughout the watershed improves public safety in downstream communities, providing benefits to residents and public infrastructure. The return of migratory fish is an indicator of the environmental benefits of dam removal.

Looking at you, Indianford.

✦ The decision to leave it or remove it is financially driven. The DNR said fix it or remove it. All the pseudo river experts make me laugh. If you really do want what you define as a healthy free-flowing river why is no one discussing removing both dams in Janesville? Does the Sustainable Janesville Committee and Craig HS only want the south side of Janesville to have a healthy river?

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