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State Comptroller report classifies two local dams 'high hazard'

Jul 13, 2018 8:00 am
Diane Valden is reporting for The Columbia Paper two municipally owned dams in Columbia County are classified as “high hazard,", in a report issued by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in June. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Water Program Policy, that designation is more about the severity of the damage that could be done downstream if the dam gave way than about the dam's condition, according to Valden. The comptroller’s report estimates the pricetag to repair locally owned dams considered a high- or intermediate-hazard to public safety is $360 million. There are a total of 17 Columbia County dams on the state list, and all but two are classified as an intermediate hazard. The two on the high hazard list are the Summit Street Lake Dam in Philmont and the Churchtown Dam in Taghkanic. The DEC recently assigned the Summit Street Lake Dam, owned by the Village of Philmont, with a condition rating of “deficiently maintained.” The dam is located on the Agawamuck Creek about 1,000 feet south of State Route 217 along Summit Street. Reached by phone, Philmont Deputy Mayor Douglas Cropper said the village is aware of current issues with the structure, which include deadwood floating on top of the dam and some trees growing on the side of the dam. The Churchtown Dam is owned by the city of Hudson and holds back the Churchtown Reservoir, a water source for the city. A call to Hudson Mayor Rick Rector about the dam was not returned. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.