Mill Pond Action Committee recommends refilling pond

The Wautoma Mill Pond Action Committee met Monday, July 27. After hearing presentations by Michael Sandretto, president of the Central Wisconsin Trout Unlimited organization, and Neal Olson, former Mill Pond Task Force Chairman, as well as comments by others who attended the meeting. The committee voted unanimously to recommend refilling the Mill Pond and will present that recommendation to the Wautoma Common Council at their Aug. 10 meeting.

After hearing from the presenters and other citizens, City Administrator/Clerk/Treasurer Tommy Bohler thanked both Sandretto and Olson for their input, saying he appreciated the work and research that both have done on the issue. He commented that while the concerns expressed by the Trout Unlimited organization are important, the value of the Mill Pond history and heritage in Wautoma is also important.

In the report by Sandretto, he states that the significant sediment compaction hoped for in the Mill Pond drawdown has not occurred, but that other benefits have occurred and are now possible with the continued drawdown of the Mill Pond, including a decreased likelihood of downtown flooding. He also noted that the free-flow of Soules Creek into the White River improves the ecology and fishing of the White River Watershed.

Olson stated that the Mill Pond Task Force wanted to see the pond being used by kayakers, canoers, as well as fishing, as well as being an aesthetically-pleasing site to visitors as they come and go to the north of Wautoma. 

Olson added that he and several other Mill Pond land-owners are prepared to take legal action should the city decide not to refill the pond; however, Bohler told the committee that he has consulted the city’s legal counsel and the city is in solid legal standing should that happen.

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