I’d like to add my thoughts to Mr. Bob Diebel’s well-written article about our proposed Whitewater park and subsequent dam removal published in the July 23, 2020, edition of the Hub. He has detailed his answers to concerns that others have expressed as well as has offered a complete information package that was quite readable. I feel well educated about the matter.
I am new to the area and live only blocks from the dam. When I first moved here late last fall, I was rather disheartened with the appearance of that whole area. Worn down factories, uninhabited old buildings that clearly have needed attention long before I arrived, roads in disrepair, unused/unkempt vacant properties and an outdated, unsafe dam. I walk that bridge everyday and am concerned most of all for the safety of the fisherman and especially of the children they bring with them. As summer approached and all the icky, smelly growth started appearing on and below the water surface, it only turned my disheartened feelings into utter disgust. I think we can do better.
I am beyond delighted to see all the reconstruction going on in my new home town and want to support the planners of this city for their foresight. I am especially in support of removing the dam and recreating a safe, beautiful, functional space that the whole community can use.
In addition to all the positive facts that Mr. Diebel has already mentioned, I am told that it costs the city approximately $70,000/ year just to operate it. That’s tax payers money.
And for what? It’s has outlived it’s original purpose, it is not serving the community at large, it does not change the river to it’s detriment to remove and restructure the area, it’s a safety hazard and it’s an eyesore. And I think to repair it or update it would be short-sighted, to say the least.
I especially like the fact that the state would be playing a major role in dredging the river and paying for the lion’s share of the costs of removing the dam and the reconstruction of the area.
I like to sit on one of the benches the city provides along the river’s edge. I see all kinds of fowl, fish and frogs. I’ve noticed they move away from the large area full of plant growth on the side next to Uniroyal and use the cleaner, albeit smaller, area of the river to swim and feast in that runs along Riverside Drive. Mmmmm......maybe they know something! Listening to nature has never gotten us into trouble.
I wholeheartedly support the efforts and ideas presented by the city as well as those presented by Mr. Diebel and the steering committees and tasks forces he represents. Seems like a win-win-win...oh, wait, he already said that!
City of Stoughton