FREMONT, OH (WTOL) - A controversial project in Fremont, years in the making, may to be finally coming to an end.
The city of Fremont finally has received a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the Ballville Dam.
Built in 1913 as a hydroelectric dam, then later as a water source for the city, the Ballville dam no longer holds a practical use.
The Army Corps of Engineers wanted the city to meet certain criteria before issuing the permit, one of which was building pylons as an ice control structure. The other was to establish plans for wildlife mitigation in the area of the dam.
The only remaining hurdle is an outstanding lawsuit against the city by the Sierra Club, which claims removing the dam would harm the local environment. But currently that lawsuit has not presented an injunction to prevent the demolition from beginning.
"We're very hopeful that the court will side with the city of Fremont so we can begin the process," said Fremont mayor Danny Sanchez.
Removal will be incremental over three phases to slowly raise the water levels down river.
Once complete, fishing and boating is expected to become an regular activity near downtown.
"We believe that we can really focus on and utilize the river for community growth and economic development opportunities here in the city for folks to possibly be able to go down stream and back up stream for some recreational use on the water," said Sanchez.
Demolition work is expected to begin in August.