Diane Baedeker Petit, Public Affairs Officer
Public meeting planned on proposed upgrade of Hop Brook Dam, Northborough
AMHERST, Mass. (June 8, 2012) - Northborough residents and other interested parties are invited to attend a public meeting to discuss and submit comments on proposed plans to upgrade the Hop Brook Dam in Northborough. The meeting will be held on Thursday June 28th from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm in the Selectmen's meeting room at the Northborough Town Hall, 63 Main Street, Northborough, Mass.
Staff from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will present information about the proposed project. The public will have an opportunity to ask questions and comment at the meeting. For more information, visit www.ma.nrcs.usda.gov.
Although the dam is still structurally sound and does not pose an imminent threat to public safety, today's increased land development has generated higher amounts of runoff than the dam was originally designed to handle. DCR and NRCS monitor the dam annually and after significant storms to ensure the safety of surrounding communities.
"Upgrading the Hop Brook Dam will not only provide better flood protection, but will also maintain wetland and wildlife habitat and outdoor recreation such as nature and hiking trails," said Christine Clarke, NRCS Massachusetts State Conservationist.
DCR, which owns, operates and maintains the Hop Brook Dam, has requested federal funding for upgrade through the NRCS Watershed Rehabilitation Program.
The Hop Brook Dam is one of nine dams built between 1962 and 1987 by NRCS and DCR, which work as a system to provide an estimated $1.7 million in annual flood damage reduction benefits to the 36 towns within the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord (SuAsCo) rivers watershed.
The 23 foot high Hop Brook Dam currently can store nearly 437 million gallons of water, protecting 170 homes and businesses, as well as 14 bridges, saving the town an estimated $118,000 annually by preventing flood damage.
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