CANTON – Selectmen on Thursday authorized the Lake Anasagunticook dam committee to build a temporary timber dam on Whitney Brook to stem the flow of water from the lake this summer.

Construction will begin in early May and be sited at the old bridge piers.

Volunteers are needed to construct the dam, and Judy Hamilton of Hartford has agreed to serve as the contact person. Volunteers may reach her by e-mail at [email protected]

The committee needs hemlock lumber and I-beams with 6-inch flanges.

The temporary dam would take the place of a dilapidated one the town took by eminent domain last summer. Due to its poor condition, its flood gates have been open since May 2007, lowering the lake level by 6 feet.

Whitney Brook is an outlet to the lake on the northeast shore in Canton, but most of the shoreline of the 556-acre lake is in Hartford.

A new permanent dam is estimated to cost $700,000.

In other business at Thursday night’s meeting, Tom Adley presented a plan for community gardens to selectmen. The plan had been organized in 2007 by the Trails and Parks committee, and Selectman Donna Hebert had tried to start the program but had little response.

Adley is asking for people interested in having a part in the garden to come by the town office and fill out an application. There is room for 12 plots of 16 by 25 feet each in the site off Route 108 next to the Baptist church.

The gardens can hold vegetables, herbs, flowers and small fruit plants for home consumption. Trees or structures are not allowed. Planting may begin in early June. Carl Leuders has offered to plow the plots and Ralph Sayer has volunteered the manure.

The purpose of the project is for Canton resident to grow food and flowers in environmentally sustainable ways where locally produced, affordable and nutritious food is available to all.

Adley reported that Brownies and Girl Scouts had walked the trails to clean up trash last week and did a good job. He is looking for another cleanup day soon.

The board will have a special meeting Monday, April 27, to review applications for sexton, town mowing and town helpers.

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