The fate of the Echo Lake Dam will likely be decided by a referendum in the November election. The Burlington Common Council is slated to finalize a decision to proceed with an advisory referendum at its Aug. 16 meeting. (Photo by Ed Nadolski)

City Council slated to finalize advisory vote on Aug. 16

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Burlington Common Council moved one step closer Tuesday to forming an advisory referendum on the Echo Lake Dam’s long-term future.

The advisory referendum, which came in the form of resolution, directs city staff members to develop a clear and concise question for presentation to taxpayers during the Nov. 8 General Election.

While the question has not been formalized, with plans for final consideration at an Aug. 16 meeting, the Common Council could consider presenting three options to voters.

The Echo Lake Dam, which does not meet regulatory compliance, needs significant repairs to meet state law by 2025 either through modification or removal of the structure.

To remedy the situation, according to a consensus from a lengthy July 5 Common Council meeting, city staff developed the following options for voters to consider:

  1. Remove the dam, draining Echo Lake, and then restore the resulting natural stream area with new park amenities, all at an estimated cost of _____ OR
  2. Repair the dam, keep Echo Lake, and expand existing park amenities, all at an estimated cost of ____ OR
  3. Undertake whatever course of action the Common Council determines to be the least expensive?

However, on Tuesday, the Common Council opted to remove the third option.

“I think we should keep the options to two,” said District 4 Alderman Thomas Preusker.

Bob Grandi, of District 2, as well as District 3 Alderman Jon E. Schultz II each agreed the third option should be removed.

To read the entire story, including estimated cost for each option, see the Aug. 4 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.