Video and Slides: City Council Public Forum on the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam Resolution

Here is a complete video of the October 27 Public Forum on the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam Resolution. The forum was sponsored by the Northampton City Council. This recording is 2 hours 9 minutes long and was recorded by Adam Cohen.

From the published agenda:

7:00pm – 7:05pm Welcome and Introductions, City Council President David Narkewicz
7:05pm – 7:15pm Massachusetts Office of Dam Safety
7:15pm – 7:35pm Terry Culhane, Board of Public Works; GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., Norwood, MA
7:35pm – 7:55pm Dee Boyle-Clapp, Friends of the Upper Robert’s Meadow Dam; Fred Szufnarowski, P.E., The Essex Partnership, Ivorytown, CT
7:55pm – 8:00pm Chris Mason, Northampton Energy Officer
8:00pm – 9:00pm Questions & Comments

Here are the slides that were presented by the various speakers:

Dam preservation advocate Amy Bookbinder displays a picture she took of the dam this week:

This follow-up letter was issued after the forum by the Friends of the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam:

October 28, 2010
Edward S. Huntley, Director
Dept. of Public Works
125 Locust Street
Northampton, MA  01060
Re:  Upper Roberts Meadow Dam
Dear Mr. Huntley
Thank you very much for participating in last night’s public forum on the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam.  After hearing from experts from both GZA and Essex and reading GEI’s review, it appears that a more complete study using the latest models and updated contour maps may indeed show that hazard reclassification is possible.  Based on what we heard last night, the Friends would ask that you postpone any vote tonight regarding the dam’s fate and, instead:
1)    Seek a 3-6 month extension from the Office of Dam Safety
2)    Contract with GEI for a second opinion – a phased approach to control costs, focusing on:
Hazard Re-Classification Study 
Stability Analysis (to determine if the spillway needs modification)
Cost Estimate
3)    Seek a hazard reclassification through the Office of Dam Safety
4)    Ensure that designs for dam repair be scheduled in time to submit proper permits
The basis for the existing hazard classification appears marginal, and the only threat to life and property is the 0.2 ft. of overtopping of the Middle or Lower dams.  Given the city’s commendable record in the eyes of Dam Safety, it seems reasonable that they will take these factors into account in evaluating a request from you for another extension.
Dee Boyle-Clapp
Friends of the Upper Roberts Meadow Dam
Cc:  Mayor Higgins
        City Councilors
        Chris Mason

See also:

Website: Save the Chesterfield Road Dam

countryjournal: “Upper Roberts Meadow Dam update” (10/12/10)
Two weeks ago, the news of an unstable retaining wall along River Rd. in Leeds grabbed the headlines and it appeared that the possibility of resulting raw sewage entering the Mill River was a more pressing issue. An application to MEMA for that project had also been submitted by the city, but was relegated by someone to a second choice, behind the BPW’s preference for the dam’s removal. The latest unofficial word is that no MEMA money exists for either project.

An Open Letter from The Friends of the Upper Roberts Meadow Reservoir and Dam (9/30/10)
The City’s decision to remove the Upper Roberts Dam appears to be based on a long-term cost comparison of alternatives to repair and remove the dam. GZA estimates the long-term cost of the two alternatives to be $1,893,412 for Full Rehabilitation and $1,200,000 for Removal. If the dam were reclassified to a lower hazard potential, however, the scope of repair work would be drastically reduced. Using costs from GZA’s itemized estimates, the long-term cost to rehabilitate the dam to the requirements for a lower hazard classification are estimated to be $566,453; less than a third of the cost of Full Rehabilitation and less than half the cost of Removal. Further, the risk of construction cost overruns are likely to be much less for the lower hazard rehabilitation alternative. This is significant because the City would be responsible for any cost overruns. [See PDF with detailed cost comparison]

Video: Dee Boyle-Clapp Rebuts Arguments for Removing the Chesterfield Road Dam

LaBarge, Spector and Tacy Propose Resolution to Preserve Upper Roberts Meadow Dam (8/13/10)