Sumedh Bahl, who manages the Ann Arbor water treatment plant, is responsible for maintaining Ann Arbor's four city-owned dams. Bahl says his staff is keeping an eye on the embankment and "has seen nothing to suggest there's any danger."
While they agree the toe drains need work, Bahl and other city officials want to postpone fixing them until city council decides what to do about Argo Dam. "It doesn't make sense to spend money to repair toe drains if we're going to remove the dam," he says.
Despite the state's deadline, Naud says the city is planning a series of public meetings in January to "reach out to the community and have a discussion" about possible options for the Argo Pond area and how to pay for them. "The real question is how much is this pond worth to us as a community," he says.
Those discussions had better happen soon, says MDEQ's Byron Lane. He says toe drain problems have been cited in Argo Dam inspection reports since 2001.
[Originally published in December, 2008.]