Well, it’s done. The Riverside board unanimously voted to give the easements to the Army Corps. It looks like it will go forward and possibly all three events – the total removal of Fairbank Dam, the notching of Hofmann Dam and the regrading and wall repair in the Swan Pond will all happen in 2012.

Right from the start I was all for doing remedial work in the Swan Pond, although without the unnecessary removal of the 28 mature trees that is scheduled. I still believe this merits a public outcry for doing something more in the vein of what Ted Smith asked them to consider, or what I marked out with flags.

Getting that part changed and pushing the Corps to do the best possible job is in the interest of everyone, and certainly worth doing.

Frankly, I was saddened to receive so little support or to have such meager turnouts at the meetings where the still-incomplete plans were presented. I’m happy that they finally gave in on dropping the easement at Fairbank Road and that they will stage this operation from the Lyons side, which was one of my earliest demands.

I hope everybody will watch every aspect of this job closely and will not hesitate to speak out. As President Gorman said, “We will have to live with this long after the Corps is gone, so we must get it right.”

Following the old boxer’s credo of “never give up, never give in,” I kept punching until the last bell. I appreciate the nice words from President Gorman and also Jack Wiaduck who came to the meeting Sept. 21, and the long hours and hard work that I know Lonnie Sacchi and Jim Reynolds have put into this – and their job is not yet done. In fact, it has really just started.

Donald Spatny