Here is a 3-minute YouTube excerpt (now a new version to improve audio quality) from the 9/16/10 City Council meeting. Dee Boyle-Clapp, a leader of The Friends of the Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir, rebuts arguments made by the Department of Public Works for removing the Chesterfield Road Dam. The DPW has applied to the Masschusetts Emergency Management Agency for a grant to help defray the cost of removal (see the application). Boyle-Clapp argues that even with a MEMA grant the city will need to contribute substantial sums to the work of removal. She also argues that the dam does not merit a high-hazard classification. This classification is inflating the projected costs of preserving the dam.
This video is provided courtesy of Northampton Community Television. A Vimeo video of the entire 9/16/10 City Council meeting is available.
Website: Save the Chesterfield Road Dam
Gazette guest column: “The case for the Leeds dam” (8/26/10)
The dam is an asset and its preservation complies with these [Sustainable Northampton] plan goals:
Protect and preserve the city’s heritage resources. That the dam is an historic structure of significance has been acknowledged by the Northampton Historic Commission. The well-engineered granite-block gravity-arched dam strengthens with increasing water pressure.
Protect valuable and sensitive ecological resources. The reservoir offers a change in the region’s habitat which is important for diversity. Abandoned in 1905, wildlife reclaimed it, and for 70 years “silting in” of the reservoir has occurred. The warmed shallow water now supports an important, scenic wetland and woodland habitat.
Encourage use of alternative and renewable energy, with 25 percent of city municipal energy from renewable sources by 2017.
Video of 9/2/10 City Council Meeting
Gazette: “City Council postpones war, dam decisions” (9/2/10)
….As for a resolution endorsing the preservation of the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam in Leeds, the council postponed discussion until its Oct. 7 meeting.
At that time, councilors will hear the recommendations from an independent consulting firm that is being hired to help settle a dispute between the Department of Public Works and a neighborhood group over whether it makes financial sense to save the dam and harness its water for hydropower.
Video: City Council Meeting of 8/19/10; Upper Roberts Meadow Dam; Extended Producer Responsibility
LaBarge, Spector and Tacy Propose Resolution to Preserve Upper Roberts Meadow Dam (8/13/10)
Video Highlights: BPW on the Dam, Landfill (6/30/10)
In this first 7-minute segment, Ward 7 City Councilor Gene Tacy urges the Board to support hydropower generation on the Mill River system. A network of hydro stations at several dams could collectively generate hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of green electricity per year, and the Upper Roberts Meadow dam and reservoir could be preserved. John Clapp and Dee Boyle-Clapp of Save Our Dam then debate with Board Chair Terry Culhane about whether the friends of the dam are making the progress the Board wants to see.
Gazette: “Advocates dig in to save Northampton dam” (6/30/10)
Video: Board of Public Works Not Keen to Save Chesterfield Road Dam (6/12/10)
Board chair Terry Culhane: “I think the sense of the board is fairly clear… but we still need to come up with some way to shut the process down. I hate to do that when they [The Friends] are not here.”