For at least 10 years now, the dam at Rogers Lake in Old Lyme has had problems. As one resident put it, there have been "patches upon patches" but it still leaks.
A number of years ago, the state began putting pressure on the town to fix the problem but the state's permitting and application process proved to be equally problematic. Now, finally, it seems that Old Lyme is going to be moving forward at a fairly rapid pace to fix the dam.
Yesterday, the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen received a project manual for the application as submitted to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to repair the dam with a fishway as part of the project. If all goes according to plan, the project will go out to bid in the spring, with construction starting after July 1 to be completed by the end of September.
The town has a Small Town Economic Assistance Program Grant to cover about $129,000 of the cost of repairs and has already approved funding for about $70,000 to get the project started.
The town is anticipating receiving another grant to cover the cost of a fishway as required by DEEP and has allocated about $30,000 in the upcoming budget to cover the rest of the project, which when all is said and done, will fall somewhere in the $200,000 range.
Zoning Commission member Patrick Looney, who likes to fish on Rogers Lake, is happy to hear that the new plans include a fishway to accommodate the trout that currently swim freely in Rogers Lake. Shoring up the dam will also benefit local residents with shallow wells, he said.
Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder said that the town still needs wording for an agreement to grant the town easements over private property to do the work required but, she added, local property owners are already on board with the project.