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November 21. 2012 10:23PM

Derry council will not reconsider vote on Adams Pond Dam

DERRY - A motion to reconsider the town council's vote on accepting jurisdiction over the Adams Pond Dam failed at Tuesday night's council meeting.

The issue was initially raised when the state dam bureau deemed the dam unsafe and charged dam owner Jean Gagnon with either repairing or removing it by 2014.

Gagnon had stated that he did not want to spend the money to repair the dam and would remove it, but the town and Gagnon did reach a tentative agreement for the town to take control of a .73-acre parcel of his land that includes the dam. However, after the town council deadlocked 3-3 on the vote to take over the property in September, the motion was defeated.

On Tuesday night, Councilor David Milz made a motion to reconsider the Adams Pond Dam vote.

If the vote had passed, it would have meant only that the council could have considered the issue again at a time of its choosing. It would not have resulted in the town taking over control of the property.

"I have received some further information since we took the vote and I would like to explain it if possible," said Milz.

Ultimately, the motion to reconsider was defeated after several minutes of parliamentary wrangling.

With Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores away for business, four of the six members present would have had to vote to reconsider, according to Town Administrator John Anderson.

By the time it was Chairman Brad Benson's turn to vote, two councilors had voted to reconsider, two had voted no, and Councilor Brian Chirichiello, who stepped down and did not take part in the September vote, abstained.

Benson voted to reconsider, making the final tally 3-2 with one abstaining, meaning the measure failed to garner a majority vote. Saying he was uncomfortable with Chirichiello stepping down, Benson ruled the motion defeated.

During the public forum portion of the council meeting, former Councilor Janet Fairbanks said she was against the council taking up the issue again.

"I hope you would give this a lot of reconsideration before you make the motion to reconsider," she said.

Although the council will not reconsider the Adams Pond Dam vote, several residents have begun an effort to save the dam, establishing a fund through the town for donations.

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Adam Swift may be reached at aswift@newstote.com.

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