NEED TO KNOW

  • The original natural state of this stretch of the river is, and always has been, a lake! The Estabrook Park Dam was designed and constructed to replace a natural rock ledge and to restore the pre-existing water level with the intentional feature of adjustable gates in order to control flooding.
  • Wisconsin Law is clear. Once riparian owners have had a water level over 40 years, their rights to that water level are protected.
  • Lincoln Park Lake is a public amenity, enjoyed and used by all. The county park facilities in and around the dam were designed with this lake as their central feature, most notably the Blatz Pavilion.
  • The Environmental Assessment’s process and results are seriously flawed and dangerously misleading.
  • A public survey conducted by the county clearly indicates that the public has an overwhelming preference for repairing the dam, with over 65% of respondents in favor of dam repair and less than 33% with a preference for dam removal.
  • 60 Local Realtors have signed a letter confirming that they would expect to see a 20% to 40% drop in real estate values if the dam is removed. With residential and commercial property values totaling over $56 million, a 40% reduction could amount to over $21 million in additional costs to Milwaukee County.
  • The Parks Department’s EA cost estimates for removing the dam have failed to include costs of remediation, litigation and compensation to riparian owners for diminution of property values. Without the enhanced fish passage add-on component, repairing the dam is by far, the lowest cost option at $1.2 million or likely less based on a recent contractor quote of $855 thousand.
  • Milwaukee County has a moral imperative to uphold the original 1930’s compact with residents, and is obligated by law to preserve the dam and the water level of the lake it creates. The Abele Administration is derelict in their duty for not implementing the clear policy set by the County Board in 2009 to repair the dam. This policy has been further reaffirmed with several, more recent, funding related votes.
  • Milwaukee County Parks Department unnecessarily delayed this project and greatly expanded the project’s scope and associated expenses by including the requirements of the U.S.       Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The county failed to research ownership of this island when the BLM asserted its first claim. Based on proof provided by MRPA, the BLM has recently relinquished its claim and has exited from future participation – over 2 years wasted!

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