Grafton Bridge Street Dam Referendum (2010)
Residents submitted their petition with 2,398 signatures, with 1,556 needed to pass, in order to save the destruction of the Bridge Street dam. In July, the village’s Public Works Committee recommended that the 90 year old structure be removed. Motivation to remove the structure was further found when the Department of Natural Resources told the village that stimulus money from a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant would cover the $700,000 estimated cost of the work to remove the dam. If the vote passes and the dam is not removed, the village could still receive a grant in the amount of $1.3 million in order to build a fish ladder to help species swim up river to spawn. A decision by the village is needed by the end of the year so that the NOAA can allocate the funds to remove or add on to the dam. Opponents to removal say it is a landmark and tourist attraction, proponents say that removing it would help the river and the animal life that live in it.
Due to the council not being able to adopt a proposal for the dam, the issue was forced onto the April ballot for residents to vote on. The petition contained 1,605 signatures over the needed limit to get it approved. The village must either repair or remove the dam in order to comply with safety regulations. The village will plan for the fish ladder to be built and if the village instead approves the demolishing of the dam, the village would still have the needed funds.