Help save Mon Maq Dam

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor and Jones Co. residents,



     1. The action of conserving something, in particular: preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife.

     Synonyms: preservation, protection, safeguarding, safekeeping; preservation, repair, and prevention of deterioration of archaeological, historical, and cultural sites and artifacts.

     Disposable lighters, disposable flashlights, disposable diapers and now disposable dams. Studies show this, studies show that, it is also thought by some studies our dam was designed to last just so long. Sometimes studies that are “paid for” tend to lean in the direction from which the money is coming.

     I’ve been in front of the dam, on top, on the sides and on the sea wall when water use to flow on both sides. I have yet to find an expiration date anywhere.

     Some believe that it has out lasted its usefulness. Some believe it is dangerous, yet there is no record of an injury. I believe that by removing a part of the dam it would compromise the integrity of the remaining portions?

     Another observation, when the river level is high, (not when out of its banks) the water levels in close proximity such as Riverside Gardens, wetland areas, Golf Course pond, Jellystone Lake and Smiths’ pond rise and fall with the river. 

     By leaving the dam and maintaining it, we can continue to enjoy the beauty of the dam, still admire its historical value, enjoy the quiet pool above the dam to paddle upstream, and still have an excellent “walk-in” fishing area, untouchable by canoes, tubers and kayaks.

     The dam is not just used by Monticello residents. I’ve met many people from all over Jones County as well as surrounding counties, people from Dubuque, Linn, Jackson, Clayton, and Delaware come to fish, enjoy the sights and sounds.

     I invite you to drive to the dam to look and listen for yourself. Then ask yourself if $2 million dollars wouldn’t be better spent somewhere else. Maybe the Conservation Board should finish other projects that were started and not finished. An example is the river access at Eby’s Mill Bridge, located northeast of Scotch Grove.

     Grant dollars come from tax dollars. There are also grants available to maintain our dam. This information was made known by the Jones County Historical Society.

     Your voice counts as a Jones County resident, whether by phone to a conservation board member, a name on a petition or by voting on a ballot. Once we ring this bell to remove the Mon Maq Dam, there are no do-overs. It will be gone forever.

     In closing, I’d like to share the opinion of one person who spoke at the May conversation board meeting. He spoke the least and said the most. George Schneiter stated, “Man has always found a way to screw things up, ‘IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT.’” Maybe there is something to be learned from this.

     If you feel the way many Jones County residents do, please use your voice. With your help we can save the Mon Maq Dam.

     Jones County Conservation Board Members: Larry Pisarik at 563-853-7229, Russ VonBehren at 319-540-3969, Dean Zimmerman at 319-465-3764, Dave Tabor at 563-357-1075, Ron Roman at 319-462-4107.

With Respect to All,

John E. Null

Scotch Grove, Iowa

Lifelong Jones Co. resident


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