Iowa City official: Burlington Dam won't be removed

BY NICK HASSETT | MAY 03, 2013 5:00 AM

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Though some advocate for removing dams, one Iowa City official says the Burlington Street dam is here to stay.

Steve Long, the community development coordinator for Iowa City, said the city’s efforts to renovate the structure always had the dam in mind.

“We were never intending to remove the dam, our intent was to keep it,” he said.

Long said the city’s goals would be accomplished without the dam’s removal, including creating an area for fish passage.

The city hosted an open house and public input session on Tuesday night for the Burlington Street Dam and Iowa River Improvements Study. There, the city selected McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group to renovate the dam.

Long thought the University of Iowa, which owns the dam, wasn’t going to budge on its position.

“The university’s been clear since Day 1, the dam stays,” he said. “I don’t think they’re going to change their mind, there’s too much need for the dam, but if they do, we would take that into account.”

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