Tweet This! http://mync.com/site/50660/ RALEIGH, N.C. –
A group of residents is fighting against proposed changes to the Neuse River in Raleigh.
Raleigh-based Restoration Systems is proposing to remove the Milburnie Dam, which sits about 15 miles downstream from Falls Lake.
But some residents who live along the river say they don’t want to see the dam removed.
“Canoeing isn’t going to be as much fun. There’s not going to be any boating possible any more,” said resident Gina da Roza, who fears water levels in the river will drop when the dam is removed.
She said there are also concerns about changing the water quality if the dam is removed.
“The water moves freely here. It’s very wide, the water’s clean,” she said.
She also said there are more Greenway trails planned for that area of Raleigh, and she said changing the environment there will discourage people from using the trails.
Restoration Systems President George Howard said the river is just going to be restored to its original state.
“The river’s not going anywhere,” he said.
Howard, who said his company has had success with other dam removal projects, said removing the Milburnie Dam will create a more free-flowing body of water that will help the fish population and improve water quality.
He said the company will pay for removing the dam, and then plans to sell credits to developers.
Howard admitted the river level might drop during the summer months, but said the river probably won’t look much different in the winter.
“In the summer it’s going to get somewhat lower, and that might keep you from getting motor boats out on the river, but the river wasn’t intended for motor boats originally,” he said.
In 2002, a group of state agencies said removing the dam was a priority.
Public comment is due by April 22 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will have to approve removing the dam.