Community meeting

Silver Lake dredge fuels and potential dam removal plan for community meeting

April 1 – ROCHESTER – Sediment removal from Silver Lake, along with proposed changes to the park, will be discussed at an in-person community meeting on Wednesday, April 6.

Rochester Parks and Recreation, along with Mayor Kim Norton, will hold a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the city’s Development Services and Infrastructure Center, 4001 West River Pkwy

The city is asking the state to borrow $11.67 million to help fund the planned $23.34 million project, and staff will be on hand Wednesday evening to discuss the proposal and answer questions.

“We invite all members of the community to join us for this rally,” park board chairwoman Linnea Archer said in a statement announcing the event. “Silver Lake Park is a treasure of the community and our park system. The ongoing commitment and passion for this public place is shared by the Park Board, the Parks & Recreation Department and the City of Rochester.

“We know residents and visitors share this sentiment as well. We hope this meeting will provide greater clarity on the various aspects of the proposed project and their intended outcomes.”

Sediment removal at Silver Lake is necessary to meet Army Corps of Engineers and flood mitigation requirements. It is expected to cost nearly $5.2 million.

Silver Lake was last dredged 25 years ago and 200,000 cubic meters of sediment needs to be removed. The sediments are largely generated from agricultural areas outside of Rochester.

Along with the planned dredging, the city also plans to replace the 1937 Silver Lake Dam with a 400-foot channel of cascading pools to control water levels while allowing for new recreational activities.

Park neighbors and others have expressed concerns about the proposed removal of the dam, citing concerns about loss of lake size and downstream impacts, as well as the dam’s historical relevance.

In addition to the proposed dam modification, the Silver Lake project would add a pedestrian bridge to the west side of the lake and widen the pedestrian path along the north side.