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Letter: Rebirth of the river

To the Editor:

The cover story of the Nov. 14 issue of the Kane County Chronicle focused on the potential for removing a number of dams along the Fox River from Algonquin through North Aurora. While the article correctly noted that each dam is unique, it incorrectly paints a picture of an overall desire to remove all of these dams in an effort to improve water quality and safety.

The goal of the St. Charles Active River Project Task Force is to explore ways in which to facilitate the rebirth of the river and to further the water quality improvement efforts we have experienced in recent years. We are committed to maintaining water levels in the river and fully support recreational and economic initiatives in and along the river that enhance the impact of the river on St. Charles. This may or may not involve changes to the current St. Charles dam, but any such changes would only be considered if they maintained those current river activities, are supported by the community and enhance the economic and recreational opportunities for the entire community. 

The Active River Project Task Force has received initial funding from the St. Charles Park District, the city of St. Charles, the Kane County Riverboat Fund and the St. Charles River Corridor Foundation to hire the best design consultants available to identify those opportunities that could best enhance our community. In the spring of 2015, we will conduct a number of public forums to gather input from all of the river stakeholders and the community in general to ensure that the design concepts derived from our efforts are sensitive to current uses and the desires of the community – with a goal of presenting a number of potential projects to the community for discussion in the fall of 2015.

We encourage the Kane County Chronicle, and the community as a whole, to continue to focus on the opportunities that the Fox River represents. Limiting discussion about the Fox River to the issue of dam removal is a disservice to a much broader vision of a river renaissance.


John Rabchuk

Chairman of the Active River Project Task Force