Andy Mack, owner of Moose Hill Orchards, said that Adams Pond, which was drained last year to remove debris at the dam, is still at its low point and will remain that way until it can be determined who is responsible for state mandated testing of the pond.
Mike Cross, farm manager for Moose Hill, said last year that even with all of the boards out of the dam, “they’re saying that if we got a 50-year storm, it would still overtop.
“What they suggested we do is hire an engineer and do a study to see what could be done, so we talked to an engineer and had a meeting down there probably a year ago with (State Dam Engineer) Brian Desfosses and a private engineer that we were going to contract to do the study, and at that meeting they looked around and the guy that we were going to use said it was going to cost $9,000.”
Cross said it was then determined that another study, a “downstream hazard analysis,” would also be necessary, and would cost another $10,000.
“I was all set to sign the $9,000 contract until they threw this other thing at me,” Cross said. “So we drained the pond to do some work on it. People have been dumping stuff in the open part of the dam by the spillway. There were chunks of driveway and asphalt in there and stuff the beavers had done, so fall 2012 we started to let the water out and we cleaned it all out by hand, and at the bottom of the dam there’s a knockout that basically drains the water out of the pond.”
Cross said they removed the plug to lower the water level low enough to work around. When he called Desfosses to say they were going to replace the plug, he said Desfosses told him to keep the water level down the way it was.
“Right now we are trying to decide whether it’s the town’s responsibility, my responsibility, or whether it’s a shared respon
sibility to have the tests done,” Mack said this week. “That’s what the state has asked us to do. We were supposed to empty it until we hav
e the tests done and then after the tests are done and any remedial work will be done, then we can fill it back up again.”
Mack said he thought the town was going to take care of it but said, “somebody’s got to make a decision, and I will see to that next week.”
The pond, created on private property owned by Mack, was inspected in 2010. At that time, a request was made by the state Department of Environmental Services’ Dam Bureau to clean out debris and to reduce the level of the pond due to fears that at its current level, should a 50-year rain event occur, the dam would overtop, causing flooding downstream.