Thursday, April 17, 2014
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CLARY LAKE DAM: Paul Kelley, the manager of the company that owns the Clary Lake Dam in Whitefield, criticized the state Department of Environmental Protection in his comments on the proposed water level plan for the lake.
Staff file photo by Andy Molloy
The water level order, if issued as is by the department, would require the dam owner to make repairs to the dam by next October.
The dam owner would also be required to keep the water level no more than two feet below the lake’s historical normal high water line, determined by professional licensed land surveyor contracted by the dam owner.
Kelley, however, thinks the department should have determined the water level during the process.
But the department has maintained that requiring a dam owner to hire an expert to establish the water level has been past practice for similar situations, although it has never undertaken this process in the past.
According to the department, the Clary Lake water level dispute is the first adjudicatory water level process it’s ever conducted. As part of the process laid out in state law, the department held a public hearing in August 2012 to allow both parties to present evidence and cross examine both the evidence and those testifying.
Pleasant Pond Mill LLC had bought the more than 100-year-old mill on the other side of Route 218 of the dam in 2003 to renovate the property into a working hydraulic dam again and add residential and commercial units to the mill. The partnership fell apart seven years later when some members felt the development was unattainable, according Kelley.
Then a different company, AquaFortis Associates LLC, formed to buy the mill, the one-acre strip abutting the dam property and the house, leaving Kelley managing Pleasant Pond Mill LLC and the dam.