The water level in Fayette’s David Pond should be a little more consistent in the coming year.
Shorefront property owners last summer had worried that falling water levels could affect wildlife, recreation and the ecology and depress property values.
David Pond receives water from Tilton and Basin ponds and sends it on to Parker Pond, all within the 30 Mile River Watershed.
Now a group working on the water level problem is closer to resolving what should happen with a rock pile impoundment.
“The big news is everybody’s on the same page,” said Elizabeth Hicks, vice president of the Basin David and Tilton Ponds Association. “We’ve made some progress.”
She said meetings have included association members; Department of Environmental Protection representatives; those who own the land around the impoundment, which is in Chesterville; and Fayette Town Manager Mark Robinson. The shorefront owners previously had asked Fayette selectmen for assistance.
Robinson said in mid-December e that it appeared the work might be done in 2018.
In the past, the impoundment has been rebuilt by some people to raise the water level and then dismantled by others who want a lower level.
“Where we’re going to is toward a permitted dam,” Hicks said. “The landowners were involved in the meeting, and I feel area pretty much in agreement with the goals too.”
Part of the process will involve indemnifying landowners to ensure no harm comes to them during the permit process, she added. It will also allow for enforcement and repairs if someone vandalizes the structure.
“We all feel good about where we’re going, and we’ve been offered lots of help by the DEP in the process of getting permits; but we have a long way to go,” Hicks added. “I’m comforted by the fact they offered help, and we have some really good volunteers.”
John J. Andrews, who owns a home on the lake, last August pointed to a large rock on his shoreline that he uses to gauge the water level. It showed a 15-inch drop from early spring, with a precipitous 1-foot drop within a 24-hour period.
He’s glad to hear about the proposal to solve the problem.
“Between the pond association and the DEP working jointly to come up with a resolution, it seems at this point that it’s positive,” Andrews said recently.
In a letter sent in late November to property owners on David Pond, Hicks urged them to join the pond association if they haven’t already. “In order to move forward on a permitted dam, we need a legally incorporated entity to apply for permits and easements,” she wrote. “We will, therefore, be migrating all of our efforts related to the dam to The Basin David and Tilton Ponds Association. Our work is consistent with their mission and the newly revitalized Board with Bill Dunham as acting president, has approved the initiative.”
The impoundment is on private property. Dunham’s wife, Deb Cayer, of Chesterville, owns the property on one side; and Erika Diller, who lives in Vermont, owns the other side.
Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at: [email protected]
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