FARMINGTON — Town officials and the Atlantic Salmon Federation will hold a fourth public meeting Wednesday, Feb. 21, on the future of the Walton’s Mill Dam on Temple Stream.

It’s set from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. downstairs in the Farmington Community Center, 127 Middle St.

After Atlantic salmon, a federally endangered species, were found spawning south of the dam, John Burrows, director of New England programs for the Atlantic Salmon Federation, offered the federation’s help in exploring options for fish passage up Temple Stream.

The town faces potential liability for failure to act under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Building a fishway or demolishing the dam would remove that liability, Burrows has said.

The dam was built in 1820 and in fair to poor condition, according to Joseph McLean, an engineer with Wright-Pierce environmental engineering firm in Topsham. He estimated it would cost $350,000 to bring it to satisfactory condition and $400,000 to remove it. 


McLean said constructing a hydropower station at the site would cost up to $3 million and return $7,500 per year. Two fishway options, both in the $200,000 to $400,000, plus the cost of dam repairs, would bring the cost closer to $600,000.

The Atlantic Salmon Federation paid for a feasibility study of the dam and a plan for improving the adjacent Mill Pond Park, which is owned by the town.

Wednesday’s meeting will focus on the final concept plan for the park. It was developed by Richardson & Associates landscape architects.

Drawings showing a fish passage and dam removal will also be presented.

Burrows will review the federation’s financial proposal, and Town Manager Richard Davis will discuss the process for evaluating the funding proposal and developing a timeline to bring the issue to a vote by residents.

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