The Dayton Town Board has failed in its attempt to reopen the case against removing the Little Hope dam on the Crystal River.
Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt ruled Friday, March 13, that the motion to reopen the case failed to meet the plain language of state codes.
Boldt heard three days of testimony at a contested case hearing in Waupaca in June and July of 2014. Engineers and geologists from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other organizations, as well as Dayton residents and town and county officials, spoke at the hearings.
The Dayton Town Board is contesting the Department of Natural Resources’ decision to permit Waupaca County to remove the dam.
In January, the town’s attorney, Ted Warpinski filed a motion with Boldt asking that the case be reopened so that new exhibits could be added to the record.
The town board sought to enter into evidence two flood studies that had been conducted at the West Road bridge over Emmons Creek and at the Dayton Road bridge over Radley Creek. It asked that a similar study be required at the site of the Little Hope dam.
Michael Scott, a staff attorney with the DNR, responded that in order to reopen the case the evidence must be “necessary for a just disposition of the case.” He argued that the studies were untimely or irrelevant.
“There has been no showing that the evidence is ‘necessary for a just disposition’ of this case. The town of Dayton has not even established that the evidence would be relevant for purposes of admission to the record, were the record reopened,” Boldt said in his written opinion denying Dayton’s motion.
“Further, rather than analyzing the information and offering an expert opinion or other analysis of the information, the town of Dayton asks that the Division (of Hearings and Appeals) order the Department of Natural Resources or Waupaca County to do so,” Boldt noted. “The Division does not have the authority to do so.”
Boldt indicated that he would “make every effort” to make a decision within 45 days.