The City of Burlington estimates it will cost the average homeowner $20 to $89 per year, depending on which option is chosen, to improve or remove the Echo Lake Dam. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

Options to improve or remove would cost average homeowner between $20 and $89 annually

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

As residents and local officials mull the fate of the Echo Lake dam, including potential removal, many have posed another question.

“The city has been asked what the Echo Lake Dam project will cost based on which project is selected,” City of Burlington officials posted Facebook last week.

According to a debt analysis, taking into account an average City of Burlington home value of $236,000 in 2021, taxpayers could pay an annual cost as low as $20.50 for a basic project of $1.5 million to $89.04 for the most expensive option estimated at $6.5 million using an assumed interest rate of 2.5% and a 20-year bond issuance.

The debt analysis, meanwhile, includes two mid-range options ($2.5 million, $33.04 annually and $5 million, $68.44).

The assumed interest rate, according to the debt analysis, is merely an estimate and would be lower or higher depending on current market trends.

However, financial estimates for any option do not include future ongoing maintenance costs.

Additionally, officials did not account for any potential Municipal Dam grant funding, or any other available financial resources.

The debt analysis also considered an estimated $2.5 million Echo Lake dredging project, which is not necessarily a compliance issue, but merely serves as a way to improve recreational opportunities on the lake and to control algae blooms.

To see a copy of the city’s graphic illustrating the potential costs follow this link: DAM COSTS

To read an expanded version of this story see the Dec. 30 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.