WOODSTOCK – Selectmen voted unanimously Tuesday to obtain a state permit to construct a dam at the outlet of Concord Pond and raise the water level.

The decision came after a meeting with Roland Pelletier, president of the Concord Pond Campers Association. He said the association has been trying to get Robert and Sheila Theriault to allow equipment to cross their property to replace an old dam at the site.

“We have tried to get the Theriaults to allow us to cross their land and place something in the outlet to bring the water level up,” said Pelletier, “and at a meeting of the association last summer they agreed we could cross their property if we did no damage and would agree to fix any damage that might be done. We agreed to that, but this spring we learned that the Theriaults had changed their mind and do not want us to cross their property at all.”

He said the Theriaults claim there was never a dam in the outlet.

Pelletier and another longtime property owner, Sterling Mills, said there was a dam of stone and wooden planks that was removed in the past 20 years or so.

“I have been at Concord Pond for 50 years and I know there was dam there,” Pelletier said.

Selectman Leon Poland said he also remembers the dam.

“I’ve seen the dam from a boat and stood on the dam. I know there was a dam or barrier of some kind there in the past that held the water back,” Poland said.

Mills said at a meeting last month that he knows there was a dam at the outlet, “and the water level in the pond is at least a foot low now and may get lower if we have a dry summer.”

Concord Pond is about half a mile long and shallow, making excessively low water levels a serious situation for camp owners.

Town Manager Vern Maxfield asked the state Department of Environmental Protection to help resolve the issue, but the agency said it cannot because there is no proof of a dam there or that it was removed in violation of the law.

Selectmen and Maxfield said they believe proof can be given through aerial photographs available at the town office and the testimony of longtime property owners. Maxfield is planning to apply for the permit, which costs $220, as soon as possible.

Mills has said that one seven-yard load of stone deposited in the outlet is all it will take to dam the outlet.

“I would just as soon spend the money to get a permit if we can. It would be good to settle this issue,” Poland said.



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