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Continued structural integrity of Peterborough dams to be tested

Union Leader Correspondent

July 03. 2014 8:41AM

PETERBOROUGH — The Contoocook River will be drawn down this summer to test the structural integrity of two dams.

The river water will be drawn down at the Transcript Dam, which sits near the Main Street Bridge, and the North Village Dam, which sits near Route 202 at the Route 136 intersection.

A public information meeting about the process will take place at the Town House on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Select Board Chairwoman Barbara Miller said the dams need to be studied to determine whether the dams should be repaired or breached.

“What we want to do is see what the condition of these dams are and should we rehabilitate them or breach them,” she said.

These dams were built to generate power for mills and factories in town. The North Village Dam once provided electricity for the Wilder Thermometer Factory.

The mills and factories are long gone, but the dams remain, creating a calm, placid appearance, Miller said. The hearing will give people an opportunity to learn more about the project as well as express their opinions about what action the town should take.

“The big thing is finding out how people feel about them,” Miller said. “It creates a whole different look, because once you remove the dam the water starts running. It’s really an aesthetics thing. … Some people feel very strongly about having this nice placid area where everything looks calm.”

Grant money is available if the town decides to breach the dam, however, the state doesn’t offer grants for dam rehabilitation, Miller said.


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