DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Opinion

November 8, 2012

Letters to the editor

Derry should stay out of dam flap

To the editor:

If some citizens aren’t happy with the results of Tuesday’s elections, should there be a “do over”? A handful of residents are suggesting that’s precisely what should happen when the Derry Town Council votes on a matter and they don’t like the outcome.

A proposal for the town to take over the burden of the privately owned Adams Pond Dam was defeated — and rightly so. The dam has been owned for years by an out-of-town real estate developer. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Dam Bureau issued him a letter of deficiency last year mandating he submit plans by year’s end outlining how he will repair his dam. He has just broken ground on a development and is building eight waterfront homes overlooking Adams Pond.

According to town officials, the developer supposedly told them he does not want the liability and expense of owning and operating a dam and suggested he may consider removing it. By passing this burden on to the taxpayers of Derry, he’d be ridding himself of any legal exposure, as once he sells the house lots he’ll be unable to limit access to the dam. This is truly the crux of the matter.

Common sense would suggest it is in his best interest to retain those valuable water views and he will not do anything that would destroy the beauty of the property. No one will buy an expensive home overlooking a swamp which is precisely why he’ll never let that happen. Those well intended residents who are concerned about environmental impact need not worry.

The extent and cost of repairs are unknown, the cost of hydrologic studies and engineering analyses are expensive and need not be borne by Derry taxpayers.

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