Voters in Windsor will decide on Town Meeting Day whether to approve a $1 million bond that would go towards repairing an aging dam.
Over a year ago, residents who live below the Acutney Mill Dam on Kennedy Pond learned that the 180-year-old structure was in urgent need of work. The town has already spent more than $200,000, and now it wants to lower the water level of Kennedy Pond by 10 feet and to reconstruct the dam.
Tropical Storm Irene exacerbated previous damage to the dam, making it look like Niagara Falls and highlighting the dangers of not doing regular maintenance.
Windsor has a $4 million municipal budget, and it suffered $2.75 million in damages caused by the August storm. Tom Marsh is Windsor’s Town Manager.
(Marsh) "Right now, we really don’t have any money in the bank. We don’t have any money to fix the dam. We don’t have any money to move it forward."
Marsh says a vote in favor of the bond would allow the town to do repair work that has previously been identified by local engineers as well as the state.
(Marsh) "This vote for $1 million dollars would allow us to get a release gate operational so if something like Irene is coming you can prepare for that and lower the body of water. That gate doesn’t operate. That has to get fixed. This bond will allow us to do that."
Should the vote fail to pass, Marsh says the town will be in a difficult position because the state is mandating that repairs be done and there’s no other funding source currently available.
If passed, the town says engineering work on the Mill Dam Bridge could begin as early as this summer.