5/7/17 – It’s been almost nine years since a severe storm caused a highway to crumble, and nearby Lake Delton to empty as five larger houses got swept down the Wisconsin River. Since then, the state D-N-R has responded to the tragedy by improving the safety of dams statewide. Gannett’s U-S-A Today Network says 143 dams in Wisconsin could result in deaths if they collapse — and officials wanted something done because the state has never had a death from a dam failure. So state officials brought back a grant program that was cut off in the 1990s — and it now allocates four-million state dollars every two year budget period to help repair and replace aging dam structures. Smaller towns especially need the grant funds — including Ogdensburg in Waupaca County where a $400,000 state mandate to upgrade its dam cost about seven times its annual budget.
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