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Questions sought ahead of Silver Lake dredging and dam sessions

The Silver Lake Dam on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Rochester.

Posted on June 5, 2024

Rochester Public Works plans first informational meeting on Wednesday to discuss proposed work before seeking a Rochester City Council decision.

ROCHESTER — Questions about planned Silver Lake dredging and the proposed dam replacement are being sought ahead of two information sessions this month.

The city announced the public sessions — one in person and one online — as an opportunity for Rochester residents and others to hear from Public Works staff regarding the proposed projects, the status of proposals, phasing options and the next steps if the Rochester City Council approves the projects.

Questions about the proposed work can be submitted online at

Rochester Deputy Public Works Director Aaron Luckstein said the information sessions are designed to gather public input and answer questions before the proposals are taken to the council for review, with an anticipated request to approve acceptance of state funding and continued design of the projects.

City staff reports the main goals of the combined project are to reduce long-term operation and maintenance costs associated with the existing dam, improve safety and accessibility, provide environmental improvements and enhance recreational opportunities.

Objections to the proposed dam changes largely center around flooding concerns and the anticipated change in the lake’s footprint, but some residents support the changes that would require state and federal review to ensure existing levels of flood control remain.

Support for the changes stems, in part, to the dam replacement’s potential to to create space for a proposed trail connection along the northern lake shore and under the bridge. It could also include construction of a standalone pedestrian bridge.

The new trail connections and pedestrian bridge were part of a 2020 plan for which the city sought state support for a $13.3 million project.

The current proposal calls for a reduced focus on lake dredging and the $5.5 million dam replacement, which has been approved to receive nearly $2.4 million in Legacy funding.

Trail changes and a pedestrian bridge could be considered as a future park project, if funds become available.

The first of the two information sessions on the dredging and dam changes will be from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Heintz Commons at the RCTC Heintz Center Campus, 1926 Collegeview Road SE. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and provide feedback to city staff.

The second meeting will be a virtual online session from noon to 1:30 p.m. June 10. Access to the meeting will be available through the project website at

Following the first meeting, city staff plans to post a feedback form on the project’s website.



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