The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 26, 2006


BOS to help sort out Chelmsford-Carlisle dam issues

Mark Duffy, who has been maintaining and farming Carlisle's town-owned cranberry bog for the past 18 years, requested action on May 23 from the Board of Selectmen (BOS) to help him gain cooperation from the town of Chelmsford, who owns the damaged gravel-packed weir currently threatening the cranberry bog. Duffy has been trying to work with Chelmsford departments for years and Chelmsford has not fixed the problems. Duffy stressed the importance of fixing the dam because it could fail completely at any time, putting the bog directly at risk.

The board decided that Selectman John Williams would join members of the Conservation Commission and Duffy to learn the exact scope of the problem and decide as a group what the next steps should be. The option to involve the Massachusetts Dam Inspector was mentioned, but the board felt they should try to work with Chelmsford boards before getting state officials involved.

Carlisle purchased water rights to Hart Pond in Chelmsford in 1986 when it bought 151 acres of Cranberry Bog and open space located off Curve Street.This allows the cranberry grower to adjust water control structures upstream in Chelmsford, to modulate the amount of water flowing into the bog. Reached later, Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard agreed the damaged structure in Chelmsford posed a threat, "If it should give way, we've got a problem."

Willard said that a couple of years ago an agreement had been negotiated, where Chelmsford would improve access to the site, purchase a new flume structure and provide soil for the repair project while Duffy would provide the labor. However, Willard thought this proposal was ultimately discarded by Chelmsford at least in part because Duffy was not a Chelmsford town employee. Without Carlisle help, Chelmsford is not planning to repair the structure soon. Willard has been told by Chelmsford not to expect any work on the project untiil after the end of the next growing season.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito