Riverfront can be great for FD

Removal of two dams could open way for wonderful things

All across America, towns and cities have found that creative use of riverfront areas can help energize local economies. Fort Dodge is one of the many communities that have areas along a major river that are being underutilized.

On Monday, a plan was presented to the Fort Dodge City Council to remove from the Des Moines River the large Hydroelectric Dam and a second smaller dam south of the Kenyon Road Bridge, commonly called the Little Dam.

In the coming weeks, the City Council will decide exactly how to proceed. What is apparent to most observers, however, is that leaving these unproductive structures in place inhibits the innovative development of important segments of our town’s riverfront.

Getting rid of these useless dams is an important step that must be taken if the full potential of the land along the Des Moines River is be realized.

Many possibilities for the riverfront areas deserve careful consideration. Creating exciting recreational venues should be part of any plan. There also may be innovative commercial uses for some sections.

The scenic areas along the Des Moines River are an asset that can be of huge benefit to our city if we approach their use with imagination. Getting rid of two dams that had importance in the past but have no role in our future would be an important step forward.