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City lacks money for removal of Olentangy dam

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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The Columbus Dispatch wroteOlentangy dam puts Columbus in a pickle

Monday, October 29, 2007

By Mark Ferenchik

It’s a dam conundrum for Columbus:

The city doesn’t have enough money to remove a dam on the Olentangy River, a project that would improve the river’s water quality.

But if the dam doesn’t come out, the city could end up paying the state $641,000 in fines.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates it would cost $2 million to remove the dam just north of 5th Avenue and restore the stream banks, said Rick Tilton, spokesman for the Columbus Utilities Department.

But the city has only $641,000 on hand for the project. That’s money the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency charged the city in fines for sewer overflows, then deferred when the city agreed to spend it on removing the dam.

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