Cedarburg Mayor Kip Kinzel seems poised to spend any amount of tax dollars necessary to "repair" the defunct, obsolete dams on Cedar Creek. Repairing these dams, with potential costs reaching several million tax dollars, will only perpetuate the destruction of the watershed.
Envisioning or considering the idea of a restored, free flowing river does not appear to be a part of the decision making process. The city should request a study of what a restored river could look like, and should engage with other communities where dams have been removed (West Bend). Studies requested by the city thus far have only been for repair scenarios for coming into compliance with Wisconsin NR 333.
The intent of this petition is to ask the mayor and common council to consider all options, including river restoration, and to make an informed decision before spending our money. Studies for river restoration must be a part of the process to make an informed decision.
Cedar Creek is a public waterway, and the defunct chunks of concrete are no longer performing work. Their historical value has not been intact since they stopped performing work.
Tourists do not visit Cedarburg to see defunct dams, but people would visit to see a restored river.
A restored Cedar Creek would:
- Allow space for a true, continuous river walk
- Allow the creek to restore itself and the native shoreline naturally
- Eliminate the ubiquitous goose droppings on the baseball field and within the park
- Allow uninterrupted paddling and recreation
- Encourage local school field trips
- Eliminate the near-stagnant cesspools behind the dams
- Allow for new small businesses (seasonal kiosks and stands, kayak rentals, etc)
- Greatly enhance creekside experiences for business patrons
- Save an enormous amount of tax dollars (millions)
- Do the right thing for the environment
Saying, "I'm used to the dams" or "The dams have been there a long time" are not good enough defenses. Dam removal needs to at least be explored.
Other communities have removed obsolete obstructions with great success. This is not a petition to remove our dams; it is a petition for our local government to genuinely explore the available options.
Mayor Kinzel and the common council have the final decision when spending our money. This petition requests they make an informed one.
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