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July 12, 2011

MADISON - Municipal dam owners can tap into $4 million in state funding available to help them maintain, repair, abandon or remove their dams. Applications are now being accepted by the Department of Natural Resources and are due Sept. 15, 2011.

"We're happy the state budget will allow us to help more communities address dam safety needs," says Meg Galloway, Wisconsin's chief dam safety engineer. "The money we had available in the last budget helped, but it wasn't enough to help all address all of the communities' needs."

The funding is included in the 2011-2013 budget, and is the same amount allocated in 2009-2011, following flooding that constituted the state's costliest natural disaster ever.

June 2008 flooding in southern Wisconsin caused estimated damages of at least $765 million dollars to businesses, residences, farm crops and public property; August 2007 floods in southern Wisconsin also caused significant damages.

Wisconsin dams and their operators handled the record amount of flowing water with no lives lost and no major property damage occurring as a result of dams failing, but a number of dams suffered significant damage, Galloway says.

In addition to dam flood damage in recent years, Wisconsin has aging dams that are in need of repair; roughly one-third of Wisconsin's 3,800 dams were built before 1940; another third were constructed since 1940 and the age of the remaining dams is unknown.

September deadling for grant applications

Any Wisconsin city, town, village, county, Tribe or public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district that owns a dam may apply for financial assistance through the Municipal Dam grant program. Application materials are now available on the Municipal Dam Grants page of the DNR website.

To be considered for funding for the grant program, complete applications must be received at the DNR building in Madison by Sept. 15, 2011. Applications received after that time will be held for future funding cycles should additional funds become available, according to Eileen Trainor, DNR dam grant manager.

All eligible applications received by the application date will be scored and ranked. Ranked projects will comprise the priority funding list, Trainor says. Using the priority funding list, grants will be awarded until funds are depleted. Successful applicants will be notified as soon after Nov. 15 as possible.

Likewise, any Wisconsin city, town, village, county, Tribe, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, or any other dam owner may apply for a grant to remove a dam under the Dam Removal grant program. These application materials are available on the Dam Removal Grant Program page of the DNR website.

Applications for Dam Removal Grants are accepted on a continual basis until all available funding is committed.

For more information or a printed version of the application materials, please call

Eileen Trainor, Dam Grant Manager, (608)267-0848 or e-mail her at:

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Meg Galloway, dam safety engineer -- (608) 266-7014, Bill Sturtevant, dam safety engineer - (608) 266-8033 or Eileen Trainor, community financial assistance grants specialist - (608) 267-0848

Last Revised: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

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