City of Troy to take down portion of Mt. Ida Lake Dam

October 30, 2018 11:33 PM

TROY – A public meeting was held Tuesday Night at the Troy Masonic Community Center for residents to learn about the City of Troy’s plan to take down a portion of the Mt. Ida Lake Dam.

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The city said an engineering assessment found the dam to be structurally unsound. The report said the dam could fail in less than a year. That report was then submitted to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The DEC then sent the city a notice stating the dam is unsafe. A temporary solution that engineers and city officials decided to move forward with is to remove the 20 foot middle portion of the dam to help relieve the stress on the its structure.

“We want to do it in a controlled fashion that doesn't cause any damage downstream and doesn't cause anymore sediment removal than needed,” said City of Troy Superintendent of Public Utilities Chris Wheland.

The removal of that middle portion will cause Belden Pond, also known as Ida Lake, to drain. Resident Susan Petty said people fish in the pond and kayak. She said it’s the reason she bought her house.

"I used to go ice skating on that pond when I was a little child,” said Petty. “To see that destroyed, that would be a little too devastating for me to have live through."

At Tuesday’s public meeting with city officials and engineers, residents had questions such as what this will mean environmentally, why the project has to be done now and many wanting to know what the long term plan for the dam is. Wheland said there will be another engineering study to determine that.

"Are we going to replace the dam, at what level are we going to replace the dam?” said Wheland. “It's a 12 foot dam now, is a six foot dam better, do we have to do any sediment removal?”

Another option would be to remove the dam all together. That’s a solution many residents don’t want to see.

"I'll probably move, I'll probably sell out,” said Petty. “That will be the nail in the coffin."

While finding a long term solution will be a long process, Wheland said removing the portion of the dam now, is necessary.

"We can't wait for another study, we can't wait for next spring, we can't wait for next fall,” explained Wheland. “What I’m concerned with now, is public safety in the immediate future.”

Removing that portion of the dam will cost the city about $60,000. Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said there will be several more public meetings to get residents input on what should be permanently done.


Emily De Vito

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