Preservation of the Piscataquis River

To the Editor;

I am responding to the various comments made after the dam removal meeting in Dover-Foxcroft. There are many good points on both sides but the primary reason is to address the flood control issues. The fact that the river will not go away is very important to consider.

My understanding is the dam in Guilford is going away. There was a dam near the water works building removed and not a word was said. An expert on generation explained the head at the Mayo dam is insufficient to generate electricity. More flood control projects (like Dunham-Davee) are needed to control the possibility of severe flooding in our downtown. This year alone we were blocked access to the Dexter Road and other locations. 

Now let’s get to the financial aspects. The dam is required to have nearly $8 million in upgrades paid by the Dover-Foxcroft taxpayers. The original purpose for the dam is no longer economically viable. Removal of the dam will advance the natural flow of the river. This type of river rehab comes with millions of dollars in grant opportunities. These funds could give us a better chance of flood protection and protect the business and landowners who incur the brunt of the flooding. Imagine a new intersection of East Main and South Street that would allow truck traffic to flow better. A cove with a park and untold possibilities for nature. 

This issue is a very emotional one for many, but this is happening all over our country to bring a natural environment back to our lands. The abandoned mills and dams that no longer drive our economy are being transformed into recreational areas for all the people to enjoy. 

Bart Merrill


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