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August 20, 2013

MADISON - Municipal dam owners can tap into $3.5 million dollars in state funding available to help them maintain or repair their dams and another $500,000 for dam removal projects.

Applications for the municipal dam grant program are being accepted by the Department of Natural Resources now and are due by Jan. 22, 2014. Dam removal grant applications are accepted on a continual basis and awards are made to eligible projects until the funding is depleted.

"We're happy the state budget will allow us to help more communities address dam safety needs," says Meg Galloway, Wisconsin's chief of the Dam and Floodplain Section.

The funding is included in the 2015-2017 budget and is the same amount allocated in each of the last two budgets following June 2008 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 them suffered significant damage, Galloway says.

DNR awarded 19 Municipal Dam grants in 2009 and 15 more with funds from the 2011-2013 budget.

In addition to dams damaged by flooding last decade and already in this decade, Wisconsin has aging dams that are in need of repair; roughly one-third of Wisconsin's 3,800 dams were built before 1940; the next third have been constructed since then. The age of the remaining third is unknown.

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, according to Kari Beetham, DNR dam grant manager. Application materials are now available.

To be considered for funding for the grant program, complete grant applications must be received at DNR in Madison by Jan. 22, 2014. Applications received after this date will be held for future funding cycles should additional funds become available. All eligible applications received by the application date will be scored and ranked. Ranked projects will comprise the priority funding list. Using the priority funding list, grants will be awarded until funds are depleted. Successful applicants will be notified as soon after March 23, 2014 as possible.

Likewise, any Wisconsin city, town, village, county, Tribe, public inland lake protection and rehabilitation district, or any other dam owner may also apply for a grant to remove a dam under the Dam Removal Grant Program. These application materials are available on the DNR's Dam Removal Grant Program web page and applications are accepted on a continual basis until all available funding is committed.

For more information or a printed version of the application materials, please contact Kari Beetham at, or by phone at 608-264-9207.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill Sturtevant, 608-266-8033; Meg Galloway, 608-266-7014

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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