Over the last few months the City of Ann Arbor and the MDNRE have been meeting to hammer out a new agreement on the earthen embankment. They have agreed upon the details which were approved by City Council on Monday night. The agreement allows the City to re-open the mill race for the season (until Oct. 15, 2010) thereby re-opening the portage. This is great for the City as the canoe/kayak livery is a money maker and it is a great way to get people on the river and promoting stewardship. The City agreed to develop a vegetation management plan for the embankment and they have cleared most of the embankment of vegetation. The City needs to conduct frequent inspections of the embankment over the summer.
Additionally, next fall the City will issue a request for proposal (RFP) for repair of the toe drain and a separate RFP to reconstruct the embankment to do away with the portage. These RFPs will provide needed cost estimates for this work. We expect these costs to be significant. The City still has the option to decide to forgo these costs and remove the dam.
HRWC continues to believe that removing the dam is the best choice for the environment and the city budget, and we will continue to stand up for the river’s health in the future. If you are interested in helping, or want more information, please contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also go to Take Action, Remove Argo Dam.