Freedom–October 12, 2017–As mentioned in my September Smart Report, the State of N.H. is really going to construct a new dam on the north side river flow (sometimes called the Berry Bay dam). Based on that September report, Roberta MacCarthy, President of the Berry Bay Lake Association, became very active (aggressive) with having someone of importance from the N.H. Dam Authority participate in the Association’s 10/07/17 (first day of Columbus Day holiday) meeting in Freedom to further explain this project. And she succeeded: Jim Gallagher, Chief Engineer, and Dan Mattaini, Operation and Maintenance Engineer, both from the Concord Office, adjusted their holiday schedules in order to participate in the meeting.
Jim had prepared and distributed a 15-page packet of photos, graphs and online reports relating to control of the lake level , plus he had a plot plan of the new dam dated August 2011. Highlights of his presentation were:
- When the State took over ownership of the 2 lake dams in the late 1900s, they did a detailed inspection of both. They determined that the south side dam was OK, but the north side dam was in poor condition and could fail. It needed to be replaced. There were no historic or art objects found in their excavations, so work began on design and funding a new north side dam about 50’ downstream of the old dam.
- In 2009 a proposal was submitted to the State for funding, but the State was low on funds so the project went on hold.
- In 2017 the project and funding were again submitted and this time accepted. All funds to come from the State. The project must be completed and all funding ends in mid 2019.
- The permit process has started. A new set of plans need to be prepared and a construction contractor selected.
- Construction is scheduled to start in early Summer 2018 and go through the entire year. There will be no disruption in lake level management.
The one question I received from the September report was need for a fish ladder. The same question came up (from someone else) Saturday morning. The answer was that there is always a water flow from the south side dam and fish do not appear to be interested in traveling to Ossipee Lake.
The Ossipee Lake Dam Authority is well aware of all details relating to this project and in constant contact with Dan. I hope they will keep all of us up to date on construction progress as it moves forward.