Make your voice heard about the future of the dam

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     The recent Monticello dam meeting was, as always, a session in David vs. Goliath, politicking at its worst. Each step of this battle to save the dam has met with the attitude only the Conservation people know best in spite all the efforts of the people who want to save the dam.

     Technically there are rules to this game, and what will eventually happen if Jones County Conservation persists in riding herd on this project to remove the dam they will find themselves in court.

     There are parts of this project that require federal approval and include a workable agreement between all parties concerned in how or even if this project can take place. The parties involved had decided on an alternative that would have given the Conservation people what they needed and satisfied the Friends group in a compromise. Conservation fought the compromise and at the last public meeting it was soundly defeated by the public to leave the dam alone.

     Now, when we move forward to this latest meeting with Fish and Wildlife, the preferred compromise plan is no longer in play and we are back to some other plan agreed to by barely a quorum of the County Conservation

Commission.

     What was telling was someone asked for a show of hands who wanted to keep the dam as is, and over a hundred hands went up. Someone else shouted out how many want to take out the dam and by my count it was not more than seven!

     Earlier, when the DOT had agreed to help fund this project based on the understanding there was no major decent within the public, which had been Conservation’s assurance. The Friends group had gathered petitions to show support for keeping the dam. The DOT decided to withdraw their funding based on this show of support to save the dam. The Friends group has slowly been eating away at the source of money the Conservation people had accumulated to do this dam removal and by the end of this month, another portion of their funding will go away if the time line for using the money is not extended.

     Yet they persist in getting this approval.

     If you have an opinion on this “latest” preferred plan and want your voice to be heard you can make public comment about this “alternative” direct to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at any time before April 1.

     You can do this electronically at: MON_MAQ_DAM_EA_Comments@fwa.gov. Please include Mon Maq Dam EA in the subject line of the e-mail Your comments will certainly be appreciated!

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa

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