Ann Arbor mayor doesn't envision "Argo Dam going away"

According to the Ann Arbor Chronicle, Mayor John Hieftje told community members that he didn’t think the dam at Argo Pond would be removed, in part because it might be used for hydropower in the future.

“I don’t really see Argo Dam going away," Hieftje said.

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How to Sustain a Local Economy
The Ann Arbor Chronicle - Ann Arbor,Michigan,USA
The dam at Gallup has a 50% greater capacity for generating electricity than Argo dam, he said, with about a 35-year payback on investment. ...

HRP's response (included in comments at the A^2 Chronicle story):

Why is dismissing the potential to restore a free-flowing section of the Huron River within the city limits, increasing both park lands and recreational opportunities, good news? In 2000, the World Commission on Dams found that “Large dams generally have a range of extensive impacts on rivers, watersheds and aquatic ecosystems – these impacts are more negative than positive and, in many cases, have led to irreversible loss of species and ecosystems.”

Our own state agencies concur–Argo Dam has the second-highest adverse impact on a river of any dam in Michigan. The DNR abandoned stocking efforts in Argo Pond because species diversity and habitat quality is too low. Dam removal is supported by the local Audubon and Trout Unlimited chapters, as well as the League of Conservation voters.

Like it or not, the most recent study of Argo Dam’s potential to provide hydro power reports a payback that will take 40 years. A more effective means of achieving Ann Arbor’s energy goals is to develop policies aimed at reducing consumption. In most municipalities (and nations, for that matter), energy consumption is too high and wasteful. Likewise, pricing policies often promote wasteful behavior rather than energy conservation.

I urge residents and planners to stop viewing the Argo issue as an energy-source issue. Instead, consider the recreational, ecological, and economic benefits that restoring the river will provide. For more on this topic, visit this website.