Monday, November 30, 2009

More Estabrook Dam Nonsense

More Estabrook Dam Nonsense

We just are not that bright. Here in Milwaukee County our board of supervisors passed a budget for 2010 including a bonded allocation for 2.1 million dollars to repair the Estabrook Dam on the Milwaukee River. Bonded so that our children can pay for our stupidity.

They did not debate the issue, nor did they fully weigh the county’s own workgroup report. They just included it in a budget. Sneaky!

County Executive Walker vetoed the amendment, but was over-ridden. He wrote “The future of the Estabrook dam is a difficult policy decision that the County Board will have to address. This is a decision that should be made through an appropriate process of public hearings and committee discussion and not through an amendment adopted at a late-night budget meeting”

Good for him.

Of course, the county’s own workgroup estimated repairs as costing between 7.7 and 12 million. What the 2 million is being allocated for is a mystery. Band-aids? Discount Dam Repair Inc.?

It seems as though the County Board is either unwilling to actually weigh the issues and make an informed decision, or is running from the issue.

Hydroelectric study, $5000.00 to repair a stoplog structure, and now an allocation of money that is badly needed elsewhere in the county to address needed infrastructure maintenance. Workers are losing their jobs. Positions are being cut. Our parks are falling apart. We are constantly being told, “There is no money.”

Yet the County Board can waste badly needed dollars on only partial solutions. Dollars that if actually used, may be wasted if insufficient to address the DNR orders for repair and upgrade.

All so that we can keep our historic recreational dam, and the silty impoundment it creates.

We are just not that bright…


  1. you gotta love Milwaukee Co politcs, that is messed up. More backroom deals that aren't exposed to public scrutiny- economic or scientific. On the bright side maybe they are protecting the smallmouth fishery from the upcoming carp invasion, perhaps that dam may yet serve a purpose..

  2. Will,
    Makes me sick too.
    Funny you mention the dam and invasive species. Federal G.L. biologists have argued against dam removal for just these reasons.Lamprey, etc.
    But.. The carp thing is so huge and disasterous and inevitable that I doubt anything that is done by man can solve it now. Kind of like trying to put all the toothpaste back into the tube. Chicago is going to poison six miles of the canal soon in an attempt to allow upgrades to the electric barrier. What is amazing to me is the massive change in the fish population in the Platte, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri and other rivers. Used to be bass, northern, common carp, etc. Now... 97% asian carp. All that since the early 1990s and the flooding that allowed them tom spread.


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