Plans launched to remove Estabrook Dam without County Board approval


Several Milwaukee officials, including County Executive Chris Abele, launched a plan to remove the Estabrook dam, without the approval of the county board.

This ends the years long debate on whether to remove the dam or repair it.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

A trio of top municipal officials announced plans on Monday to tear down the Estabrook Park dam and end a longstanding dispute over whether to demolish or renovate the aging structure.

The strategy calls for an end-run around the Milwaukee County Board by turning the property in Estabrook Park over to the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. The district would then tear down the dam next year and restore a section of the Milwaukee River as a free-flowing stream.

The agreement was detailed by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Kevin Shafer, executive director of the sewerage district, who said their solution would reduce the risk of flooding and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Milwaukee County, which currently owns and operates the dam, has been under pressure to repair or tear down the 1930s-era structure. In 2009, the Department of Natural Resources identified an array of safety problems dating back to 1995 and ordered an overhaul or removal of the dam.

For more, visit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel