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Municipal Dam Grant Program

The 2017-19 Biennial Budget provided $4 million for Dam Grants, of that, approximately $3.5 million will be committed to fund eligible engineering and construction costs associated with the maintenance, repair, modification or abandonment and removal of municipally owned dams. The updated Municipal Dam Grant Application Form 3500-088 (Rev. 11/17) and instructions are available beginning November 13, 2017. The grant application deadline is April 30, 2018. See the How to Apply tab below for application information.

The Municipal Dam grant program provides a cost-sharing opportunity for eligible engineering and construction costs for dam maintenance, repair, modification or abandonment and removal up to a maximum of $400,000. Funding sources outside the applicant's own resources can be used toward the local match for this grant. We encourage interested, eligible parties to begin work now on documents that must be submitted with your grant application. You can find information about these documents under the How to Apply tab. Costs related to the development of these documents may be grant eligible for those applicants who receive a grant.

A fully completed application and all required attachments must be received on or before close of business on April 30, 2018 in order to be considered for funding.

Who can apply

Eligible project sponsors

Cities, towns, villages, counties, tribes, and public inland lake protection and rehabilitation districts (lake districts) may apply for grants to conduct dam maintenance, repair, modification or abandonment and removal on dams that they own. Private dam owners are not eligible to apply. Dams that are inspected, approved and licensed by a federal agency under 18 CFR Part 12 are not eligible to receive funding. (NR 335.02(2)(b))



An applicant must own the entire dam or have permanent legal access for operation and maintenance to the specific piece of land on which the dam is physically located.

Eligible projects

Eligible projects include dam repair, reconstruction or modification to improve the safety of the dam, or abandonment and removal. The owner must have the inspection directives or an administrative order that requires the dam safety project.

Dam repair/reconstruction/modification project grant awards will cover:

  • 50 percent of the first $400,000 of eligible project costs;
  • 25 percent of the next $800,000 of eligible project costs; and

Dam abandonment and removal project grant awards will cover 100 percent of the first $400,000 of eligible project costs.


Applications will be accepted through close of business on April 30, 2018. Applications received after April 30 are not eligible for consideration.

Grant cycle timeline [PDF]


Complete applications must consist of the application form and attachments listed below. Some of these are time-consuming to prepare so start early to help assure that your application package is complete by the deadline. Municipalities and lake districts that previously applied for funds through this grant program are required to complete an application form but will not have to resubmit documentation as long as the information is still valid and meets the requirements outlined below.

Trouble downloading forms? see: Troubleshooting tips [PDF]

  • Municipal Dam Grant Application (Form 3500-088). Please use this updated form dated 11/17. All applicants (even those who applied for funds in a prior application cycle) must complete this form. The form is fillable, printable and saveable. Automatic calculations are built into both the budget and scoring sections so you don't have to do the math! Be sure that the detailed cost estimates match the budget summary that is included as part of the application package. This form requires a signature & date by the individual authorized by resolution.
  • Municipal Dam Grant Application Instructions

ATTACHMENTS For all dam projects

  • A resolution by the governing body of the municipality, tribe or lake district, designating an authorized representative and agreeing to pay the local share of the project costs. The language in the sample resolution is a composite of successful resolutions from past applicants. Applicants may use it as a template for their grant resolution.
  • Proof of ownership. The applicant needs to be the owner of the dam prior to receiving a grant award. The applicant will need to show they have ownership or have permanent legal access to the specific piece(s) of land that contain the dam. For the purpose of the application the owner should provide a site layout that shows the dam in relation to property lines, the deed for the property on which the dam is located, and ownership information for adjacent parcels.
  • Proof of an inspection directive or administrative order which prompts the need for the dam safety project. Supplying the date of the inspection report or order is adequate for application purposes.

ATTACHMENTS For dams to be repaired or reconstructed

ATTACHMENTS For dams to be removed

  • A project description and cost estimate for the dam removal with sufficient detail to determine which costs will be grant eligible.
  • An application under s. 31, Wis. Stats. for a permit or approval to abandon and remove the dam. The abandonment application should be completed and submitted prior to or with the grant application.
  • A delineation of the 100-year floodplain upstream of the dam with the dam removed and materials necessary for inclusion in a zoning ordinance.*

* These studies need to be conducted to the standards of chs. NR 333 and NR 116, Wis. Adm. Codes. We strongly recommend that your engineering consultant contact Bill Sturtevant prior to starting any analyses. Bill can be also be contacted for information on how to hire a consultant to do this work.


Trouble downloading forms? see: Troubleshooting tips [PDF]


Contact information
For technical assistance, contact:
Meg Galloway
Dams and Floodplain Section Chief
For grant administration assistance, contact:
Kari Beetham
Grant Manager
Last revised: Monday February 18 2019