Fate of the historic Monterey Dam is still up for discussion

Fate of the historic Monterey Dam is still up for discussion

Residents in Janesville met with a panel of experts Wednesday to talk about the future of the historic Monterey Dam on the Rock River.

In recent years, studies have revealed it is deteriorating. According to the DNR, it either needs to be repaired or removed.

The cost for either decision would be roughly the same, but residents have been debating what to do, given its impact on the environment and recreation.

“If the dam is removed, for the most part it will make that lower part of the river almost unnavigable by water sports,” an advocate from Friends of the Monterey Dam, Dennis Goodenough said.

Other residents are open to the idea of a change.

“I think after seeing what’s available and what could happen, I think the city council really has a good vision for it,” Janesville resident Andy Udell said. “I think they could make some amazing things and really make this another one of Janesville’s flagship parks.”

Attendees were able to submit questions for the panelists after hearing several proposals for either renovation or removal of the dam.

The Monterey Dam was built back in 1846 to provide energy for local mills. The city council plans to decide the fate of the dam this spring.