Public input invited on Oct. 27, 2020, prior to decision on removal of Eel River Dams

Last Updated on October 28, 2020 by Cass County Online

Compiled by Michelle Dials from minutes from the Sept. 22, 2020 meeting of the Utility Service Board. Read the minutes here.

At the Sept. 22, 2020 meeting of the Utility Service Board, information was presented about the removal of the Eel River Dam at 10th Street and the 3-foot dam about 200 feet downstream.

Further discussion, as well as a vote on the project, is expected at the Oct. 27, 2020 meeting of the Utility Service Board. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the LMU Board Room on the 3rd Floor of the Logansport City Building.

According to the minutes from the September meeting, reasons for removing the dam include enhanced public safety, liability issues and related insurance fees, reduced flooding events and ice-jam problems, elimination of labor and expenses for maintenance and inspections and fewer taxes owed.

Dr. Jerry Sweeten of Ecosystems Connection Institute also said the community could expect to see “tremendous ecological developments such as beautiful river flowage with stunning waterfalls and enhanced riverbanks.”

According to the LMU superintendent, the dam is no longer used for cooling water by the generating plant or as a pool for public water supply.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $590,000. LMU’s portion is anticipated to be about $245,000 after anticipated grants from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provide an estimated $344,000 in funding.

The USB chairman says funds will not come from the city budget or from taxpayers, and utility rates will not increase as a result of the project.

LMU is seeking public input and suggests that community members submit written statements to LMU or attend the next USB meeting for another opportunity to learn more or share their opinions on the issue. The agenda for the meeting can be found here.