The removal of the made headway on Monday.
The Oakland Township Board of Trustees . The council said the dam's removal will benefit fisheries and the ecology of Paint Creek and is necessary for habitat preservation. Though the proposal met a lot of , the project was approved and work on the dam started around 8 a.m. Monday morning, according to , executive director of the Clinton River Watershed Council.
Oakland Township residents Greg Olson and Orville Brown, who live along the millrace, watched on as a crew of men worked with a jack hammer on the dam on Monday.
“This truly is the end of an era,” Olson said. “It’s sad; the millrace died and it’s never coming back. It’s over.
“All we want is for the millrace that has been flowing for 175 years to keep flowing."
The has been at the heart of the residents’ efforts to oppose the project. The millrace has been a historical icon for Oakland Township; many residents note that it is the reason Goodison came to be. Without the dam, many residents expect the millrace to be completely gone in the near future.
“The millrace is going to dry right up," Brown said. "The water will eventually go away. Our property values went down the tube today.”
For Brown, the millrace was influential when purchasing his property, making it more picturesque, and now those residents along the millrace will undoubtedly be left with a mud pit, he said.
“We are aware that some residents have been opposed to the project since the beginning,” Vaara said. “People live here, it’s their community and they have the right to feel the way they want to feel.”
Vaara noted that the whole process of taking down the dam and habitat restoration would take about a year. She said the watershed council will work for about two to three weeks on removing the dam, as well as on in-stream work and downstream stability. The watershed council then will take a look at what the weather forecast shows and decide how to proceed.
“We feel good about getting started on this,” Vaara said. “It’s an important project, and it’s been a long process. It feels good to get this under way.”