What happens next?
The with funding in place in 2015, the project moved forward:
All of the permits necessary to rebuild the Dam were secured in 2015, and the project was put out for bids from contractors who were interest in the project. Bids were received in early December, 2015. Unfortunately the bids were far higher than the cost estimate for the project from the engineering firm that designed the dam. We had allocated $130,000 to build the dam, and we needed well over $300,000. The Town Manger proposed another warrant article for the necessary funds, but the Board of Selectmen voted not to move that warrant article to the 2016 Town Meeting ballot. In addittion, without a contract signed, the allocation of $90,000 from the 2015 Town meeting expired at the end of 2015.
Since the project is appreciably more costly than the Town was led to believe it should have been, The Conservation Commission is going to step back and take a new, fresh look at the work that needs to be done at the dam.
Fortunately, there are beavers hard at work at Ice Pond, and they are doing a good job of shoring up the dam. The Town is planning on installing a "beaver pipe," which will release water from the Pond once it reaches a certain level. That will prevent the Department of Public Works from having to tear down part of the beaver dam everytime the water level in the Pond gets too high. Clearly, this is not a permanent solution. But it will buy some time until a new, more affordable solution can be worked out.