The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 5, 2010

State wants Curve Street dam inspection

Conservation Administrator Sylvia Willard reported to the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) on January 28 that the Office of Dam Safety (ODS) is mandating a “phase 1” inspection of the Cranberry Bog dam adjacent to Curve Street. She said that ODS classifies the dam as both non-agricultural and a “significant hazard.”

Willard indicated she is having difficulty convincing the state that the purpose of the dam is clearly agricultural. It is used to control water within the bog, and the stream below the dam supports agricultural fields at Great Brook Farm State Park. In 2002 farmer Mark Duffy replaced the old leaky stone flumes with standard flumes used by the cranberry industry – reinforcing the agricultural use and also improving the condition of the dam.

The Curve Street dam is one of four owned by the town. There are two others on the Cranberry Bog parcel; the fourth is at the outlet of the Greenough Land pond. Willard noted that inspections can be very costly. The state Dam Safety Regulations (302 CMR 10.00) exempt agricultural dams from inspections. Owners can request reclassification. The ConsCom decided to ask Town Counsel to clarify the legal implications of the state’s classification before proceeding.∆

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