CANTON — The Dam Advisory Committee heard suggestions from two environmental officials Monday night on how to handle the contaminated soil around the new dam on Whitney Brook.
Ransom Environmental Consultants of Portland has been hired to clean up the site, which was the former Brindis Leather Co., at the corner of routes 140 and 108. The area covers about 2 acres in two parcels separated by Whitney Brook, according to Ransom's report to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Ransom Vice President Nicholas Sabatine discussed moving the contaminated dirt to the boat ramp area upstream near Lake Anasagunticook, where it could be paved over and sealed.
Brian Beneski of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection also said the soil could be moved to low areas of the boat launch area and paved over.
Committee Chairman Malcolm Ray said the largest area could have all the bad soil taken out and cleaned so the area could be sold for development.
The town has received a $200,000 grant to pay for the cleanup.
The dam, which regulates the level of Lake Anasagunticook, replaces a dilapidated one the town took by eminent domain. The brook flows out of the northeast corner of the lake.
Ray said the rest of the temporary dam needs to be removed to get the water level down. The gates for the new dam are due to arrive soon.
The brook is also the site of a proposed boat ramp upstream from the new dam. And a pedestrian/ATV/snowmobile recreational bridge over the brook is planned to connect the parking lot on Route 140 and the boat launch and trails on the other side.
Leon Buchner from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said his main concern was that the boat ramp’s function be for boats to access water.
The bridge will be the last project completed, Ray said.
The redevelopment work is expected to be completed next summer.
Gary Dougherty, treasurer of the Anasagunticook Lake Association, was concerned about where to place bricks to honor donations. Having them placed in gravel in some of the walkways was a popular thought, but Dougherty said they needed to see more of a plan of the site.
It was suggested that Sabatine and Beneski come up with a landscaping plan to show more what the site would look like before a decision is made on the bricks.
Ray said there were lots of potential places for walks along the brook and dam for this purpose.
The committee will meet Jan. 16 to discuss plans more fully before presenting them for a town vote.