OTISFIELD — Selectman Rick Micklon said progress is being made to address the structural damage at Pleasant Lake dam that is leaking as much as 1,000 gallons of water per minute in at least three places.

Casco and Otisfield selectboard members, along with Peter Barber, president of the Pleasant Lake Association, and others met in late September to discuss how to proceed after the boards received a report from the Maine Emergency Management Agency officials that showed significant leakage and structure deterioration at the dam.

The dam is on Mill Pond in Casco and regulates the water on Pleasant Lake. It is owned and maintained by both Casco and Otisfield.

Since that time, Micklon said the boards have formed an ad hoc committee comprised of Micklon, Casco Selectwoman Holly Hancock and Barber, who met last week to recap the goals of the full joint board meeting and to discuss what progress had been made.

In addition, the group is identifying information on the affected properties, such as property deeds, the standing order from the Department of Environmental Protection concerning water levels and other documents that will be filed.

With the recent completion of a survey showing the dam and surrounding properties, Micklon said they can better determine the next steps to take.


“It allows us to decide where we want to take it,” he said.

The initial survey cost each town $2,000, which was covered by the Pleasant Lake Association, Micklon said. The towns have agreed to reimburse the association. Micklon said Otisfield must get approval from the town before it spends the money. Casco has already paid their share.

The next step to is get funding for the engineering study, Micklon said. Otisfield will be liable for about $4,000 to $6,000, depending on the estimate which has not yet been received, he said. The board will take the financial request to the town meeting.

The dam is on Mill Brook, behind the Hancock Lumber office on Route 121. It regulates the water level of the 3.8-mile-long lake, which lies in Casco and Otisfield. There are numerous homes and cottages around the lake, as well as the Seeds of Peace International Camp on the western shore and Camp Arcadia for Girls on the eastern shore, both in Otisfield.

The dam has been jointly owned, operated and maintained by Casco and Otisfield since 1994. It previously was owned by Hancock Lumber Co.

According to the Maine Dams Inventory, the 110-foot-long, 12-foot-high dam was built in 1850, repaired in 1980 and has low-hazard classification, meaning there is nothing significant downstream that would be affected by a dam breach.

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