Aiming to take down dam
Hackettstown officials considering Seber Dam's demise.
Saturday, July 14, 2007 By LYNN OLANOFF
The town-owned dam in the Musconetcong River has been crumbling for
decades. It may be helped along in its demise if town officials approve
The Musconetcong Watershed Association is working to knock down the
more than 20 dams along the river and asked town officials Monday to
consider removing their Seber Dam. With all the river's mills closed,
the dams no longer serve a purpose and inhibit free water flow and fish
passage, according to association members
. "There's tremendous environmental benefits that happen when a dam
is removed," said Tim Dunne, a biologist with the federal Natural Resources
Conservation Service. Dunne told town officials federal funding could
pay up to 75 percent of the costs for the dam's removal. Other funding
is likely available, association members said.
About $180,000 has been obtained to remove the Gruendyke Dam, a downstream
dam owned by the Pump House restaurant, said Geoffrey Goll, the association's
engineer. The association is aiming to have the Gruendyke Dam removed
in August or September, which would make it the first of the Musconetcong
River dams to be demolished. The group is still awaiting state approval.
Hackettstown officials have said obtaining outside funding is necessary
for their approval to remove the Seber Dam. They agreed Monday the dam
should be taken down. The dam is in horrible shape and state officials
may require the town to replace it, likely with a large and out-of-place
dam, Mayor Michael Lavery said.
"The type of monstrosities you have to replace them with are cost prohibitive
and you wouldn't want them there," he said. Council members reminisced
Monday about their youth when the Seber Dam had diving boards on it
for the town's swimming hole.
Town officials told the Musconetcong Watershed Association they want
more time to think over the removal of the dam. "We need some time to
discuss this among council," Lavery said. Reporter Lynn Olanoff can
be reached at 908-475-8044 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.