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.
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.
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.