The use of erroneous data to attempt to justify the removal of Hofmann Dam while knowing full well that it will result in detrimental conditions for the residents that live along the river is bad enough. Worse still, when caught, is to try to weasel out of it with flimsy excuses and pallid justifications.

Just like Watergate, the cover-up is at least as bad as the crime and even more pathetic. It’s evident that both the Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of Natural Resources knew that their statements and the materials they fabricated for presentation were not accurate and presented a false picture of what conditions would be along the river, should this project go forward.

I know what I think about bureaucrats that have such disdain for the residents that they would resort to these kinds of methods to justify their foolish project. You can formulate your own judgment as to whether it was simple incompetence or deliberate falsification. Either way, it’s a lot of money wasted for the state, the feds and the village.

Now that the village is aware that this project is tainted and fraught with potential problems, it should immediately band together, just as it did in the 1950s with Lyons, the Forest Preserve District and the Mosquito Abatement District to stop it permanently. If they want to see what awaits us, they can go to the library, as I have done, and look back at the old newspapers of the period.

Riverside experienced the negative effects of having a lower river back in the years 1936-1950 when the top of the 1908 dam had been removed by the WPA and the dam crest was two to 2.5 feet lower. It wasn’t pretty and it didn’t smell so good either. But that was less than three feet lower. Now imagine if they were to proceed and lower the crest 12 to 14 feet as their plan calls for.

The village needs to do whatever it can, whatever it takes, be it going to court or banding together with Lyons to padlock the gates at the staging site to stop this thing now.

Riverside needs that dam in place as much now as it did in the 1950s. It’s a shame that our leaders wouldn’t listen and use more common sense instead of falling for those dog-and-pony shows we got, but they can still redeem themselves if they act forcibly.

Anything less and they will be part of the problem instead of part of the solution. If they need to build something, build an art deco fish ladder that will attract fish and visitors. Don’t stink up the place with this rotten project.

Donald Spatny