Cuyahoga River Restoration Project                         

FINAL SUMMARY                                                           


(For more detailed information, click HERE)

   

The Kent Dam project was first introduced to City officials in 1998 by the Ohio EPA.  The modification–removal of the Kent Dam was recommended to improve water quality in the Middle Cuyahoga River.  A Total Maximum Daily Load report (required by the federal Clean Water Act and issued by the Ohio EPA) stated that this section of the river was highly influenced by dams that are no longer being utilized for their “original intended purpose.”  It was proposed that these dams were creating water quality problems such as dam pool stagnation, lack of proper aquatic habitat and hindrance of fish migration.  The City was also informed that refusal to pursue and initiate a modification-removal of the dam would result in more stringent permit limits at the City’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF).  City officials knew that additional infrastructure at the WRF would be an expensive venture for Kent taxpayers and would yield minimal benefits to the river water quality. 

This request for modification-removal of the dam was a highly emotional issue for the citizens of Kent.  Consider the unique features of the Kent Dam.

  • The Kent Dam has been an historic icon in downtown Kent for the past 165 years.
  • It was originally constructed in 1836 and was categorized as a “highly engineered structure” for its time. 
  • It consists of hand-cut sandstone blocks that are stacked 14 feet high and 125 feet long in the shape of an arch.
  • It is the only known stone arch dam with a similarly constructed sandstone canal lock attached to one side.
  • The associated waterfall has been the backdrop of family photos and community events for several generations of Kent residents.

These are only a few of the reasons that the Ohio EPA’s request was met with a degree of skepticism and uncertainty.   

The City Administration’s first concern was to minimize potential polarization within the community.  City officials were aware of a strong local contingency of both historical preservationists and environmental advocates, who could potentially be at odds over the project goals.  From a historical perspective, the Kent Historical Society had placed the Kent Dam on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1977.  From the environmental prospective, the Kent Environmental Council had been advocating water quality improvements in the Cuyahoga River since the inception of the 1970 Clean Water Act.   

Therefore, the City Administration’s first official action was to create the 19-member Kent Dam Advisory Committee (KDAC) for the purpose of uncovering every potential piece of information that might be relevant to the multitude of potential alternatives that could develop during the feasibility/study phase of the project.  The City’s primary goal was to proceed down the decision-making pathway with as much information as possible, investigating all related subjects including regulatory agencies, applicable laws, water quality, site history, fish migration, funding availability, etc.  Although this was a huge undertaking, the use of experienced consultants and the varied expertise of the KDAC members proved to very valuable assets.   Although the atmosphere was a bit contemptuous at times, KDAC members were encouraged to focus on “consensus”.  After seven regular meetings and two public meetings, KDAC presented a preferred project alternative to Kent City Council in June of 2002.  

The preferred alternative would improve water quality by creating a by-pass channel that permitted the river to flow around the Kent Dam.  The river would be returned to its previously free-flowing state and would immediately satisfy all goals of the Clean Water Act.  The physical fish migration barrier would also be eliminated along with water quality problems associated with the one-mile long dam pool. 

 However, based upon the goals of the federal National Historic Preservation Act (and the Memorandum of Agreement required by this Act), the preferred alternative also consisted of several historical elements.  The primary feature was that the Kent Dam was going to remain intact as a monument to the 165 years of history and service to our City’s industrial past.  The re-establishment of the aesthetic waterfall was also a very important historical component.  As observed throughout the KDAC process, the value of the waterfall remained high on the list “must have” historical features.  The only available remedy to accommodate this was to create a re-circulating waterfall that pumped from the river into a small trough located around the lip of the dam.  Other historical elements included the partial restoration of a canal lock wall and the inclusion of eleven historical interpretive signs that highlighted the history around the site of the Kent Dam. 

 The “new” land (drained dam pool area) that was created directly behind the Kent Dam was transformed into “Heritage Park”.  This area is a combination of heavy stone slabs to armor against the river’s erosive power, a grassy lawn area, a flower garden and several sandstone blocks salvaged from the canal lock area used for landscaping purposes.  Three new observation platforms were also included within the project area: one at the newly created Main Street Bridge park entrance; one on top of the new pumphouse; and one on top of the newly reinforced east dam abutment.

 The year long construction phase was essentially completed in late 2004 with the project dedication ceremony taking place in May of 2005.  The total cost of the project was $5,013,150.  Project funding was provided by the City of Kent; Ohio EPA Section 319 Grant; Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources Grant; Clean Ohio Fund Grant; City of Massillon/Ohio EPA WRRSP Grant; City of Ravenna/Ohio EPA WRRSP Grant; City of Kent/Ohio EPA WRRSP Grant.

 For additional project information, please contact Bob Brown at 330.676.7241 or bbrown@kent-ohio.org

 Note:  The City hired the expertise of three main consultants throughout the various phases of the project.  They included Camp Dresser & McKee, (feasibility/design phases) ASC Group, Inc. (historical review processes) and Seidler Engineering, Inc. (construction inspection).  The construction contractor was J.D. Williamson Construction Company of Tallmadge, Ohio.


Project Summary Update (2006)

Kent Dam

 

   

 The Kent Dam project was first introduced to City officials in 1998 by the Ohio EPA.  The modification–removal of the Kent Dam was recommended to improve water quality in the Middle Cuyahoga River.  A Total Maximum Daily Load report (required by the federal Clean Water Act and issued by the Ohio EPA) stated that this section of the river was highly influenced by dams that are no longer being utilized for their “original intended purpose.”  It was proposed that these dams were creating water quality problems such as dam pool stagnation, lack of proper aquatic habitat and hindrance of fish migration.  The City was also informed that refusal to pursue and initiate a modification-removal of the dam would result in more stringent permit limits at the City’s Water Reclamation Facility (WRF).  City officials knew that additional infrastructure at the WRF would be an expensive venture for Kent taxpayers and would yield minimal benefits to the river water quality. 

 This request for modification-removal of the dam was a highly emotional issue for the citizens of Kent.  Consider the unique features of the Kent Dam.

  • The Kent Dam has been an historic icon in downtown Kent for the past 165 years.
  • It was originally constructed in 1836 and was categorized as a “highly engineered structure” for its time. 
  • It consists of hand-cut sandstone blocks that are stacked 14 feet high and 125 feet long in the shape of an arch.
  • It is the only known stone arch dam with a similarly constructed sandstone canal lock attached to one side.
  • The associated waterfall has been the backdrop of family photos and community events for several generations of Kent residents

These are only a few of the reasons that the Ohio EPA’s request was met with a degree of skepticism and uncertainty. 

 The City Administration’s first concern was to minimize potential polarization within the community.  City officials were aware of a strong local contingency of both historical preservationists and environmental advocates, who could potentially be at odds over the project goals.  From a historical perspective, the Kent Historical Society had placed the Kent Dam on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1977.  From the environmental prospective, the Kent Environmental Council had been advocating water quality improvements in the Cuyahoga River since the inception of the 1970 Clean Water Act

Therefore, the City Administration’s first official action was to create the 19-member Kent Dam Advisory Committee (KDAC) for the purpose of uncovering every potential piece of information that might be relevant to the multitude of potential alternatives that could develop during the feasibility/study phase of the project.  The City’s primary goal was to proceed down the decision-making pathway with as much information as possible, investigating all related subjects including regulatory agencies, applicable laws, water quality, site history, fish migration, funding availability, etc.  Although this was a huge undertaking, the use of experienced consultants and the varied expertise of the KDAC members proved to very valuable assets.   Although the atmosphere was a bit contemptuous at times, KDAC members were encouraged to focus on “consensus”.  After seven regular meetings and two public meetings, KDAC presented a preferred project alternative to Kent City Council in June of 2002.

The preferred alternative would improve water quality by creating a by-pass channel that permitted the river to flow around the Kent Dam.  The river would be returned to its previously free-flowing state and would immediately satisfy all goals of the Clean Water Act.  The physical fish migration barrier would also be eliminated along with water quality problems associated with the one-mile long dam pool. 

However, based upon the goals of the federal National Historic Preservation Act (and the Memorandum of Agreement required by this Act), the preferred alternative also consisted of several historical elements.  The primary feature was that the Kent Dam was going to remain intact as a monument to the 165 years of history and service to our City’s industrial past.  The re-establishment of the aesthetic waterfall was also a very important historical component.  As observed throughout the KDAC process, the value of the waterfall remained high on the list “must have” historical features.  The only available remedy to accommodate this was to create a re-circulating waterfall that pumped from the river into a small trough located around the lip of the dam.  Other historical elements included the partial restoration of a canal lock wall and the inclusion of eleven historical interpretive signs that highlighted the history around the site of the Kent Dam. 

 The “new” land (drained dam pool area) that was created directly behind the Kent Dam was transformed into “Heritage Park”.  This area is a combination of heavy stone slabs to armor against the river’s erosive power, a grassy lawn area, a flower garden and several sandstone blocks salvaged from the canal lock area used for landscaping purposes.  Three new observation platforms were also included within the project area: one at the newly created Main Street Bridge park entrance; one on top of the new pump house; and one on top of the newly reinforced east dam abutment.

 The year long construction phase was essentially completed in late 2004 with the project dedication ceremony taking place in May of 2005.  The total cost of the project was $5,013,150.  Project funding was provided by the City of Kent; Ohio EPA Section 319 Grant; Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources Grant; Clean Ohio Fund Grant; City of Massillon/Ohio EPA WRRSP Grant; City of Ravenna/Ohio EPA WRRSP Grant; City of Kent/Ohio EPA WRRSP Grant.

 For additional project information, please contact Bob Brown at 330.676.7241 or bbrown@kent-ohio.org

 Note:  The City hired the expertise of three main consultants throughout the various phases of the project.  They included Camp Dresser & McKee, (feasibility/design phases) ASC Group, Inc. (historical review processes) and Seidler Engineering, Inc. (construction inspection).  The construction contractor was J.D. Williamson Construction Company of Tallmadge, Ohio.

 Munroe Falls Dam

 This project was managed by the Summit County Department of Environmental Services.  Although originally intended to be a dam lowering project, it eventually evolved into the entire removal of the dam in 2005.  There is a natural bedrock elevation change at the site, which creates a whitewater rapid at the dam’s original location.  The removal of this dam effectively eliminated the 5 mile long dam pool that extended upriver into the City of Kent.  Riverbank restoration efforts will be ongoing into the future.  There are also other project site features, such as a canoe portage, additional parking and an amphitheater project, that are to be completed in 2006 / 2007.


The Cuyahoga River -

Kent’s Constant Companion

by Robert Brown (2002)

 

 Introduction

The City of Kent is facing a major decision concerning the Cuyahoga River.  The following article contains several facts associated with this situation.  The City administration is presenting this background information as an opportunity for citizens to become more familiar with the issues and to provide feedback by completing the attached survey.

History of the River

The Cuyahoga River was created 12,000-13,000 years ago near the end of the last ice age.  As the mile thick Wisconsin glacier slowly receded back to the north, the tremendous pressure from the ice and resulting melt waters carved the northeastern Ohio landscape as we know it today.  The earliest human inhabitants of the Cuyahoga River valley date back to approximately 9,000 B.C.  The river was a vital resource for these early settlers, who relied on it as a wilderness travel route, hunting and fishing grounds, and a water supply.  The first European inhabitants began to colonize the Kent area nearly 200 years ago.  It was these early European descendants who eventually industrialized the river by constructing dams to harness the water power for the operation of various mills. 

History of the Kent Dam

There were actually multiple dams constructed in the downtown Kent area, but the Kent Dam is the only one that currently remains.  The original Kent Dam was built in 1836 in conjunction with the construction of the P&O canal and is historically unique in several ways.  It is reported that the Kent dam is the oldest masonry dam in Ohio and is the 19th oldest masonry dam in the United States.  It is the second oldest arched dam in the United States and is the only masonry dam in the country that is attached to a canal lock.  Although both the dam and canal lock were severely damaged in the 1913 flood, the dam was rebuilt in 1925 to its current height and is in relatively good condition today.  Underwater remnants of the canal lock also remain.

History of the Clean Water Act 

In April of 1970, the entire United States became aware of the Cuyahoga River.  Cleveland Mayor Carl Stokes testified before a Congressional hearing on the Clean Water Act that “the Cuyahoga River was on fire just a year ago.”  The image of the burning river was quickly adopted as a rallying symbol, not only for the Clean Water Act, but the entire environmental movement in America.  After many decades of environmental neglect, Americans were finally sending a loud and clear message to Congress that water pollution must be effectively addressed.  The Clean Water Act was passed in October of 1972.  “The objective of the Act (Public Law 92-500) is to restore the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters.”

Clean Water Act - Permitting Process

The passage of the Clean Water Act charged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the responsibility of bringing all of the nation’s waters into compliance with water quality standards.  The EPA’s first task was to develop discharge permits for all point source (pipe outlets) discharges throughout the country.  Every wastewater discharge leading to a waterway would now require a permit with associated maximum contaminant levels.  This involved thousands of industries and virtually every village, town, and city across the nation.  It was a massive undertaking which the EPA has been fine tuning for the past 30 years.  The five year discharge permits would essentially become more stringent at each renewal, leading the United States to the improved water quality the nation now enjoys. On the local level, the City invested in major wastewater plant improvements in 1967 ($2,400,000) and 1986 ($2,000,000 local funds and $8,000,000 federal EPA funds). The health of the nation’s waterways has greatly improved and they are no longer used as open sewer pipes to carry the country’s waste products to the Great Lakes and the oceans. 

Clean Water Act - TMDL Process (Total Maximum Daily Load)

The authors of the Clean Water Act were confident that limiting pollution from point source discharges would go a long way in allowing the nation’s degraded waterways to heal themselves.  However, they also had the foresight to realize that not all of the nation’s waterways would meet the new standards by only controlling point source discharges.  Many waterways were under the influence of non-point sources of pollution, such as agricultural runoff, air deposition, or hydro-modifications (i.e. man-made structures, dams, channelization), which would prevent attainment of the water quality standards.  Legislators responded to this reality by including a process in the  Clean Water Act called the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).   The TMDL is a means for the EPA to scientifically identify, then recommend and/or mandate additional controls needed to meet water quality standards regardless of the source of the pollution impairment.  It is primarily defined through a technical analysis that determines the amount of pollutants a waterway can receive and remain healthy.  When these TMDL pollutant levels are exceeded, the waterbody becomes degraded.   

The TMDL Comes to Kent (along with a permit renewal)

In Ohio, the TMDL process remained dormant within the Clean Water Act for 26 years, waiting until such time that the point source discharges were under control.  Although other states have been issuing TMDL’s on their non-compliant waterways for nearly a decade, the Ohio EPA did not initiate the process until the late 1990's.  The first TMDL report in Ohio was entitled “Total Maximum Daily Loads for the Middle Cuyahoga River.” This report defined the “middle Cuyahoga River” as the section of river from the Lake Rockwell reservoir to the Waterworks Park in Cuyahoga Falls.  Although point source discharge control has brought much improvement to this part of the river over the last three decades, research has demonstrated that the majority of the middle Cuyahoga River remains in non-compliance with water quality standards. The report states that the components of the most viable reduction strategy are:

l minimum release from Lake Rockwell of at least 3.5 MGD of high quality water

l modification or removal of the Munroe Falls Dam to reduce or eliminate the dam pool*

l modification or removal of the Kent Dam to reduce or eliminate the dam pool*  

   

 *According to the EPA report, acceptable dam pool modifications must create natural riverine

               characteristics and allow fish passage through the area.

The alternative to this strategy is very strict and expensive permit limits imposed at the area wastewater treatment plants.

In summary, the Ohio EPA TMDL report states that this section of the river requires a more consistent flow of high quality water from Lake Rockwell and the dam pools need to be reduced or eliminated.  The combination of these factors will restore a less obstructed free-flowing river, which will produce riffles, runs, and shallow pools where aeration of the river water can occur naturally and provide adequate habitat for a healthy well balanced aquatic community.  In order for the City to meet the TMDL requirements, any modification of the Kent dam pool must address all three of the following criteria:

                  1.  aquatic habitat - river habitat instead of dam pool habitat

                  2.  dissolved oxygen  - must remain above 4.0 mg/l

                  3.  fish passage - for migration and spawning purposes

 In addition, the Ohio EPA renewed a discharge permit for the City’s wastewater treatment plant.  This permit establishes a compliance schedule where very stringent permit limits become effective should the TMDL recommendations (i.e. modify or eliminate the Kent dam pool) not be followed by the City.  More stringent limits will require the City to consider the addition of more advance treatment at the plant, with preliminary cost estimates of $3,400,000 to $4,700,000.  However, the EPA has stated that these more stringent permit limits will do little to resolve the water quality issues in the river.

Note: The Ohio EPA states that TMDL reports are scheduled for the remainder (upper and lower sections) of the Cuyahoga River by the end of this year (2002).  For more information on Ohio’s TMDL program, contact the Ohio EPA website at http://www.epa.state.oh.us/.

Kent Dam Advisory Committee (KDAC)

In response to Ohio EPA’s “Middle Cuyahoga River TMDL Report” and the issuance of a new discharge permit at Kent’s treatment plant, the City of Kent initiated a study called the “Kent Dam Pool Water Quality Improvement Project” in March of 2000.  The study phase of the project included the creation of the Kent Dam Advisory Committee (KDAC), which consisted of a 19 member panel of interested area parties.  This committee was invited to be an integral part of the study process for the purpose of insuring that all pertinent information relating to this project was discovered and made available for use to the City Administration in formulating its recommendation.  The engineering consultant (CDM), along with the assistance of the KDAC members and city administration, brain-stormed several ideas and concepts that might serve to meet the goals of the TMDL report, while also taking into consideration the historical and aesthetic aspects of the Kent dam. 

This process consisted of six formal meetings, two of which were community based forums held at Kent Roosevelt High School on September 11th and October 11th of 2000.  One of the highlights that came out of the KDAC meetings was a determination that Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act was applicable to the Kent dam project.  This Act assures that a formal process to identify and mitigate potential adverse effects to a historical structure must occur prior to a modification or demolition project. The City, in conjunction with the U.S. EPA,  is currently in the initial stages of this process.

Kent Dam - Consultants Preferred Alternative (River Bypass)

In January of 2001, the consulting firm of CDM submitted a report to the City which was designed to (1) comply with the goals of the Ohio EPA’s TMDL report and the new treatment plant permit requirements; and (2) to maintain as much of the current historic structure as possible.  They offered the preferred alternative as a bypass of the river around the east side of the dam.  This alternative will comply with all three of the TMDL criteria (aquatic habitat, fish passage, dissolved oxygen), while requiring the least amount of structural modification in the dam area.  This alternative will require the removal of a concrete wall that has been placed across the old lock area on the east side of the dam.  This alternative is projected to cost $1,750,000 - $2,450,000 and, as described in “Funding Sources,” there appears to be grant money available for this purpose. 

While bypassing the river around the dam will allow the historic dam structure to remain intact, it will eliminate the current waterfall over the dam.  This alternative will include removal of  the sediment that has accumulated behind the dam, which would expose the river’s bedrock and produce an environment similar to the natural river downstream of the dam.  This alternative will also include improved river access and the creation of a navigable river.   If so desired, the City could also enlist additional investments to create a small off-line dam pool with a recirculating waterfall, with a projected cost of an additional $650,000 - $1,100,000. 

Communication Efforts

In addition to the two pubic forums held in the fall of 2000, City of Kent personnel have given numerous presentations (both locally and at the state level) regarding this topic.  There have been several newspaper articles printed and the Kent City Manager has publicly written about this topic on several occasions in the City Manager Newsletter and Chamber of Commerce Newsletter.  During the last few years, the city administration has been discussing multiple aspects of this project with various individuals representing:

u U.S. EPA                                                            u U.S. Army Corp of Engineers                 

u Ohio EPA                                                           u U.S. Dept. of Interior                                    

u Ohio Historic Preservation Office                 u Advisory Council on Historic Preservation  

u Office of Congressman Tom Sawyer          u Office of Senator Mike DeWine

u Office of Senator George Voinovich             u Office of State Rep. Ann Womer Benjamin

u Office of State Senator Leigh Herington      u Kent State University Biology Department

u City of Massillon                                                u City of Ravenna

u Portage County Commissioners                   u Ohio Environmental Council

u numerous local citizens of Kent                     u NEFCO      

 These discussions have helped the City administration to understand the full scope of issues surrounding this project, which will ultimately assist in developing the City administration’s recommendation to Kent City Council.

Funding Sources

The Ohio EPA has provided an opportunity for funding their recommended river restoration goals.  The City has secured a $1,250,000 grant to cover costs related to the study and design phases of the Kent Dam Pool Water Quality Improvement Project.  Additional grant funding for the construction of river restoration projects may be also available from the Great Lakes Protection Fund, Ohio Public Works Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Clean Ohio Fund.

The Kent wastewater treatment plant permit indicates that if the City chooses not to modify the Kent dam pool then the Ohio EPA will issue more stringent permit limits, even though it is known that the environmental benefits to the river will be minimal.  There are also no known funding opportunities (i.e. grants) available for the construction of wastewater plant infrastructure improvements.  It is likely that Kent’s sewer customers would have to pay the full cost of  improvements at the Kent wastewater treatment plant through higher sewer utility bills.

What Other Communities are Doing

Akron - Lake Rockwell: 

In 1998, the City joined Portage County, Ravenna, Munroe Falls, Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake in filing legal action against the City of Akron concerning the lack of flow (and quality of flow) being released from Lake Rockwell.  The legal judgment from this case is currently going through the appeal process in the 11th Appellate Court of Appeals.

Based upon a long history of several “no flow days” through the Lake Rockwell dam and responding to pressure from the Ohio EPA and downstream users, Akron entered into a 1998 agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to release a minimum of 3,500,000 gallons per day from Lake Rockwell dam.  There is, however, no guarantee of this flow during severe drought conditions.  Over the past few years, it has been reported that the water released from Lake Rockwell has been greater than 5,000,000 gallons per day.

Also, through consultation with the Ohio EPA, the City continues to seek additional requirements to be placed upon the Lake Rockwell water release to monitor water quality.

Munroe Falls Dam:

Although the Munroe Falls dam is currently owned by Sonoco Products Company, Summit County has taken the lead role in the study/design phases of the project.  Summit County’s primary interest is to protect the Fishcreek wastewater plant from being issued excessively stringent discharge permit limits, which according to the Ohio EPA will have little impact upon water quality improvement in the river.  However, the Ohio EPA again has stated that if modifications to the Munroe Falls dam pool do not occur, the only alternative is to issue more stringent limits at the treatment plants.  Since the Kent wastewater treatment plant discharges into this dam pool under Ohio EPA’s regulatory authority, the City has a direct interest in the success of this project.

Summit County recently held a public meeting where it announced that its preferred alternative for the Munroe Falls project is lowering the dam from 12 feet to 6 feet.  This would reduce the size of the associated dam pool, which would simultaneously increase the velocity (speed of flow, not flow volume) of the water in the section of the river and improve aquatic habitat.  The exposed river banks would be re-vegetated and a series of step pools would be designed on the south side of the dam to accommodate fish passage.

Summary

The wastewater treatment plants owned by Kent, Ravenna, Portage County and Summit County have permit limits that require the water that is discharged into the river to be of good quality.  However, the middle Cuyahoga River still does not meet water quality standards as dictated by the Clean Water Act.  If Kent chooses not to respond to the Ohio EPA recommendations to improve water quality, the State can (and will) issue more stringent permit limits to all the wastewater treatment plants in this area.  However, the agency also understands that it will be costly to local communities to install additional treatment infrastructure (no grant money available) and it will have a relatively insignificant benefit to the river’s water quality.   More stringent permit limits at the plants can also be potentially restrictive to new growth in the area.  Once stringent permit limits are issued, it is very difficult to get them relaxed.  While a potential benefit of choosing the “do nothing” option is that there will be no changes in the area surrounding the historical Kent dam, the downside of this option may result in increased utility bills, while still not meeting water quality standards in the river.

On the other hand, the Ohio EPA acknowledges that the goal of meeting water quality standards in this section of the river is being severely hindered by the existence of dam pools.  This is the reason why they are recommending the modification or elimination of the Kent and Munroe Falls dam pools in the middle Cuyahoga River.  The modification or elimination of these dam pools  will provide a much greater benefit to the overall health of the river than issuing more stringent permit limits at the wastewater treatment plants.  The majority of river restoration efforts are eligible for grant money from various sources, such as Ohio EPA grants.  While there are no promises, the Ohio EPA is very confident that the modification of the dam pools will not require severely stringent permit limits, which means that municipal utility bill increases will not be excessive, and the river will meet water quality standards.  The obvious downside to this option is that the area surrounding the historical Kent dam will be subject to modifications in order to comply with the water quality goals.

What Lies Ahead?

The city administration expects that the Section 106 process of the National Historic Preservation Act will be completed by early summer.  The information gained through this process will be evaluated and included in the administration’s recommendation to Kent City Council. 

Another community based forum to discuss the Kent dam project has been tentatively scheduled for April 29th at the Kent Roosevelt High School Auditorium.  The purpose of this meeting is to present information to citizens who wish to learn more about the public policies that are causing the City to seriously analyze the water quality problems being caused by the Kent dam, and to afford residents with another opportunity to share their views on possible solutions.  Further details of the meeting will be provided as more information becomes available.

The Kent Dam Project is obviously a complex issue that deserves ample public discussion.  It is the City’s hope that the information provided herein will be useful in understanding these complexities, so that informed decisions can be made.