Letter: Don't rush to remove Yarmouth dam

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Yarmouth’s Town Council may soon vote to remove the Bridge Street dam without knowing what it will cost, who will pay for it, or what toxins may be released. A consultant estimated $400,000 for removal, but no firm price is known. A second engineering firm will present its report to the Town Council on Thursday, March 6.

Recognizing growing taxpayer opposition from newly imposed fees to use the transfer station, plus new sewer and septic fees, the council emphasizes a claim that 60-80 percent of the dam project will “potentially” be funded by donors and grant programs. Though no final price is known, and no funds have been secured, the council wants to vote, now.

Another significant danger is potential impact on the Royal River harbor.  Waterfront businesses have raised frightening concerns related to potential release of chemical contaminants, if the dam is removed. One chemical analysis revealed the presence of mercury. Since dam removal increases water flow velocity, mercury could end up in the harbor, with horrific costs and consequences.

I encourage Yarmouth residents to demand that the Town Council not vote to remove the bridge until they know what it will cost and who will pay for it.

With the rapid reduction of tax revenue from Wyman station, Yarmouth taxpayers need a council focused on reducing, not raising expenses. Taxpayers are vulnerable to union-dictated school budgets. Tell your council to redirect its attention to that.

Bill Gardiner