Estabrook Dam

On May 22nd, 2017 there were a number of resolutions put forward by the Common Council to help protect Glendale citizens from potential impacts due to removing the Estabrook Dam.  Prior to the meeting, I had the opportunity to go in a canoe down the Milwaukee river to the Estabrook Dam.  I observed fast currents upstream, yet low water in the east "oxbow".  I also observed, due to the draw down of the river since the dam was opened, continued plant and tree growth narrowing the main channel and east "oxbow" in Lincoln Park.   Since then I have done extensive research o the topic, as well as created a survey and randomly visited addresses in the district to get a feel for what my constituents think about the topic.  An overwhelming percentage (86% at last check) feel the City of Glendale should be involved in the topic. 

The resolutions included:

  1. Supporting the county's request for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be done specifically comparing high water summer conditions with the dam in place to low water conditions upon dam removal.   
    No such EIS was done with the DNR considering removal of the dam a "Minor Action" using Integrated Analysis Action from information collected in an 2015 Environmental Impact Report (EIR). 
  2. Instructing city staff to review what other communities have done to protect citizens during intergovernmental actions like this by groups such as the County, MMSD, SEWPAC, and/or DNR.
  3. Instructing city staff to do a Request for Proposal (RFP) to audit the results of the MMSD horological analysis by an independent party since some citizens noted potential discrepancies. 

I voted in support of each of the resolutions.

I subsequently put forward a resolution to move the Common Council off neutral on the "Estabrook Dam topic" to advocate for our citizens now that the dam was being removed. 

This passed unanimously. 

Alderman Daugherty then put forward a resolution objecting to the MMSD project as filed with the DNR siting various concerns citizens have brought forward that were not addressed.  

This passed 3 to 2.  I voted in favor. 

On October 23rd, 2017 the Common Council had a closed session to discuss filing a contested case hearing objecting to the permit the Wisconsin DNR granted to the MMSD.  This would have come at some cost to the city of Glendale, with uncertain results.  Assuming it ware granted, it would have given the City and other concerned parties a seat at the table to object to portions of the permit. The outcome could have been changes to the project plan. 

The Council voted 3 to 3 to objecting to the permit, the Mayor abstained, so the motion failed.   I voted in favor believing the city should stand up for our constituents who repeatedly did not have a voice alone.

More information on the topic from my issues section here