I was glad to see Joseph Beaulieu’s letter (March 1) in regards to his support for maintaining Capitol Lake. He is the first lake supporter that has plainly spoken about the elephant in the room: waterfront businesses, such as the port and the yacht club, are dependent on state funding for dredging. He opines that the state is obligated to subsidize our local economy.
I wonder: What do taxpayers in Spokane have to say about this? The state cannot dredge Capitol Lake, both due to prohibitive cost and permitting issues. If the port and yacht club are to remain viable businesses in Olympia, they need to adapt to the inevitability of dam removal. They need to think creatively, come to the table, work collaboratively, and appeal to the local community.
The real question on the feasibility of the dual basin option is if it will bring us into compliance with the Clean Water Act. We know that removing the dam will. If the Department of Ecology can determine that adding a dual basin can do the same, then we can talk about how it might be funded.
Mr. Beaulieu also insists that the dam is the only flood control mechanism for downtown Olympia. I’m not sure where he gets his information, but the city of Olympia determined that the estuary is not expected to increase flooding risks. In fact, the real risk for flooding is maintaining a dam for a basin that cannot be dredged.