Missoula gives go ahead to old dam removal

Posted at 2:52 PM, Jan 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-18 18:50:43-05

MISSOULA – The Missoula City Council Parks and Conservation Committee is endorsing plans to go ahead and remove the old water supply dam on Rattlesnake Creek.

The city acquired the dam as part of the Mountain Water takeover in 2017. The structure was constructed more than a century ago, and originally was a key part of Missoula’s historic water supply.

However, it hasn’t been used for years, since the city’s infamous Giardia outbreak in 1983 — and concerns have been voiced that the dam is interfering with upstream fish passage.

It’s taken about two years to put a plan together for removing the old structure, and also turning the surrounding area into a conservation area and park.

The council’s Parks Committee approved an agreement earlier this week with Trout Unlimited and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to start removing the dam this summer.

The agreement clears the way for the partners to raise the rest of the funds to pay for the dam’s demolition, which could cost over of $1 million, nearly half of which is already committed.

Reporting by Dennis Bragg for MTN News