At its Thursday night meeting, the Ann Arbor Environmental Commission approved a resolution recommending that the city initiate removal of Argo Dam. It is the opposite advice given by the city’s Park Advisory Commission, which last week on a 5-4 vote recommended keeping the dam. City council will make the final decision, which is expected within the next two months.
At last week’s Park Advisory Commission meeting, 15 people spoke during the public comment period. Supporters of keeping the dam – many of them from local rowing clubs – outnumbered those in favor of removing it. The same number of people spoke at Thursday’s Environmental Commission meeting, but only six of the 15 speakers were in favor of keeping the dam. One of them, Sarah Rampton, explained that most rowers were out of town at a rowing competition in Canada. She said she had stayed behind, missing her daughter’s last regatta, because she felt she needed to advocate for keeping the dam.
But after an hour of public comment and more than two hours of debate, commissioners voted 8-4 to recommend removal of the dam, primarily citing environmental benefits of a free-flowing Huron River.