“Save the Chesterfield Road Dam” Seeks Your Support

Save the Chesterfield Road Dam would like your support:

Dear Friends,

Please help the Community Preservation Committee to vote yes in support of the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam! Send a brief email to the CPC and City Council Members to ask for their support of the application before the CPC (which the City Council will then vote to approve) to save the historic 130-year old Roberts Meadow Dam and protect the 6-acre Reservoir. Saving this dam will spare the Reservoir, support the wildlife that have reclaimed the area, and preserve an important part of western Northampton’s heritage.

This dam is unique in that it was built for drinking water and was abandoned in 1905, since then, a new eco-system has been developed and it has been stable for over 100 years. The waterway after the dam is not a natural stream, but a man-made rip rap canal. Repairing the dam ‘smartly’ so it can support wildlife-friendly micro-hydro is the best use of this wonderful resource while preserving a beautiful and historic structure.

The Friends have requested a grant that will do three things:

  1. Make up the difference between the cost dam of removal and repair ($25,000);

  2. Determine which part (the dam or the earthen embankment) is in greater need of repair so we can prioritize the section in most imminent need and do so in affordable stages;

  3. Support the creation of proper dam design drawings that balance public safety and current standards with historic design; completed to a level by which the drawings can be used to put the repair out to bid and create an accurate cost analysis so that repair bids can be properly determined.

The BPW and Mayor have stated that they need 50 years of dam repair funds upfront or definitive proof of ample hydro in order to repair the dam. We are pleased to report that the hydro report is in, is very promising and we will set up a public presentation as soon as possible.

To help us save the Reservoir and the lovely dam, we ask for your help. Send the CPC and the City Council your email and ask for their support of the Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir and Dam!

PS: We have new lawn signs available! Show your support of the dam and request your own: Want Hydro? Save the Dam! Lawn sign. We ask for a $10 donation to cover the cost.

Need more information? Want to read our Frequently Asked Questions? Visit our website at: http://sites.google.com/site/savethechesterfieldroaddam/

Sample Language:

Dear Ms. Volkmann,

I support the Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir and Dam and ask the CPC to support this historic treasure and beautiful site. Please vote in favor of this grant request and help Northampton protect its past while working to green our future. Please support the protection of the reservoir, the area’s wild creatures, and this historic dam.



Community Preservation Committee:

Fran Volkmann, Chair (Elected Representative), franv@comcast.net

Thomas Parent, Vice Chair (Recreation Commission Representative), parentbridge@hotmail.com

Don Bianchi (appointed by Mayor), donb@macdc.org

Joseph DeFazio (Housing Authority Representative), joedefazio@comcast.net

David Drake (Historical Commission Representative), davidd321@yahoo.com

Brian Adams (appointed by City Council), smolts123@yahoo.com

George Kohout (Planning Board Representative), geokohout@gmail.com

Lilly Lombard (Elected Representative), jollypair@comcast.net

Downey Meyer (Conservation Commission Representative), Downeymeyer@gmail.com

City Council:

Jesse M. Adams, Councilor-At-Large, jesse.michaeladams@gmail.com

City Council President David J. Narkewicz, Councilor-At-Large, dnarkewicz@comcast.net

Maureen T. Carney, Ward 1, mtcarney@comcast.net

Paul D. Spector, Ward 2, gwanorth@aol.com

Angela D. Plassmann, Ward 3, angela@angelaplassmann.com

Pamela C. Schwartz, Ward 4, pschwartz77@gmail.com

David A. Murphy, Ward 5, david.murphy8@comcast.net

Marianne L. LaBarge, Ward 6, mlabargeward6@aol.com

Eugene A. Tacy, Ward 7, genetacy@comcast.net

See also:

The Friends of the Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir and Chesterfield Road Dam Want Your Help (11/2/09)

Valley Advocate: “Northampton’s Hidden Reservoir” (9/3/09)

Video: Conservation Commission Meeting of 9/10/09; Kohl Condos Approved; Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir  
Following the discussion of the Kohl proposal, the commission heard a “request by John Clapp for a support letter for a Community Preservation Act application for funds to restore the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam in Leeds” (1:29:15-2:07:11 on the video). Here is a picture of the proponents’ presentation board:

Video: Board of Public Works Meeting of 7/29/09; Roberts Meadow Upper Reservoir Dam; Landfill Alternatives
The Department of Public Works is considering the dam’s removal (see PDF of 2009 proposal). Some neighbors and citizens would prefer to preserve it and the character of its immediate surroundings.