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New Albany fights removal of Silver Creek dam with petition

A group is pushing to remove the dam for a 600-acre park project along the north shore of the Ohio River. New Albany officials are fighting to keep it.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Beneath the buzz of the Scenic Byway and the purr of Providence Way, a dam is being disputed.

River Heritage Conservancy, the group making a giant new park happen on the Indiana side of the Ohio River, applied for a permit to take down the dam.

The permit from the Department of Natural Resources took effect on Sunday.

The same day, fishermen stood on the dam, casting away like they've been doing for years. They had no idea the dam's future was in question.

"I think it would be a mistake to take the dam down because there are a lot of people who fish here and it's easily accessible, it's a place I like to bring my grandkids," Angler Lonny Larsen said. "It's a lot of fun because we usually catch fish."

Now, there's a chance it could stay.

The city of New Albany petitioned the DNR, saying there's a lack of evidence to support the approval.

“The dam was built in 1904 to provide boating and fishing opportunities to the once-popular nearby Glenwood Park,” Mayor Jeff Gahan stated. “We simply want to fully understand the effects that the removal of this century old dam will have on our local waterways, wildlife, and nearby neighborhoods.”

The Conservancy said the same thing they did when the mayor first brought these concerns months ago.

"Before kayakers and canoeists can safely enjoy Silver Creek, the Providence Mill dam must be removed."

How will the removal affect erosion, water flow speeds and changes in flow patterns in the creek?

WHAS11 News reached out to the DNR to see if petitions impact the permit effect date, and how they're responding to claims they did not properly consider the river's or impacts.

The Department has not responded.

RELATED: Park project on southern Indiana's riverfront held up by concerns over dam removal


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