OXFORD — The Thompson Lake Dam Advisory Committee on Wednesday night gave Town Manager Michael Chammings the go-ahead to seek bids for removal of grates, catwalks and at least one pier from the dam.

Chammings said he will ask for bids on removing the gates, catwalk and one pier, which was shown to be in danger of collapse in a study last summer, and a bid on removing the grates, catwalk and all piers.

Chammings said all the piers will be removed eventually. Committee member Hal Ferguson, an Otisfield selectman, asked whether it might be cheaper to have them all removed at once.

Chammings said he had no idea how much the work might cost. If bids show removal of all piers would be far more expensive than removing only the compromised one, the board will have the option of removing only the compromised pier.

The committee was formed last summer over concerns that the Thompson Lake Dam might be in bad shape. A study found the dam in good condition, but a pier, a catwalk and some underwater grates meant to stop trash from moving through are rusting and need frequent cleaning to allow water to pass through.

The log booms must also be replaced. Chammings said rope or wire booms will be used.

The dam is at the outlet of Thompson Lake in Oxford and next to the vacant Robinson Mill. It regulates water in the 8-mile-long lake that covers parts of Oxford, Otisfield, Casco and Poland.

Aside from Chammings, the committee includes members representing the four towns.

Oxford took the mill property last year due to nonpayment of $244,920 in taxes over three years. Selectmen voted 3-2 to obtain the 7.5-acre site after owner John C. Robinson failed to make an $80,000 payment toward a $162,970.88 lien and keep the property out of automatic foreclosure.

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