OXFORD — Selectmen held a public informational meeting Thursday, June 20, regarding a Natural Resources Protection Act application for repairs to the east gate of the Thompson Lake dam.

The dam, more than 150 years old, has experienced significant deterioration and operational inadequacy, according to the application, prepared by Myron Petrovsky of MBP Consulting. Major deficiencies include voids, cavities, open joints, tree root penetration, excessive leakage and operational inaccessibility of deep-seated stoplogs in the east sluice.

Several remedial alternatives were considered including no action, removal of the dam, restricting the lake level, replacement of east sluice stoplogs, constructing a new dam and rehabilitating the existing dam.

Petrovsky recommended dam rehabilitation which involves encasing the upstream face of the dam with a concrete overlay, resurfacing the east sluice interior with concrete and replacing the east sluice stoplogs with a steel slide gate.

The alternative will extend the service life of the dam, improve dam stability, secure the existing lake level schedule, protect the existing aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and improved shoreline stability.

The cost of the project is $260,000 compared to an estimated $1.5 to $2 million for new dam construction, said Town Manager Butch Asselin.

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“In general, dam replacement is a last resort,” said Petrovsky.

Since rehabilitation work causes displacement of lake water, a construction permit with DEP is also required.

There is usually a three-month turnaround from the time the NRPA application is filed and a permit is issued. When work would being on the dam, would be up to the town, said Petrovsky.

Resident Bill Booth said he was concerned about five pages worth of repairs the consultant identified in a June 2018 engineering study.

“How much is it going to cost to do the remaining items you identified a year ago,” he asked?

“We have that list,” said Chairman Scott Hunter. “We know there is ongoing maintenance that needs to be done. As a board we have to look at how we are going to fund those repairs. This is a meeting about this application. If you have questions about the application, we can address them.”

Oxford Town Clerk Beth Olsen swears in newly-elected Selectwoman Sharon Jackson Thursday, June 20. Advertiser Democrat photo by Dee Menear

During the regular meeting, Sharon Jackson was sworn in as selectman. Jackson was elected and Caldwell Jackson re-elected in a five-way contested race earlier this month.

The Thursday, July 4, Board of Selectmen meeting is postponed until July 18. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. with a Maine DOT public hearing to discuss the realignment of Skeetfield Road and construction of a right turn offset lane on Route 26.


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