MAHOPAC, N.Y. - The Town Board will seek to float a bond for nearly $300,000 as part of an effort to rehabilitate three dams in Mahopac.

The project is part of a state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) initiative that requires towns to perform engineering assessments (EA) on their dams.

The dams slated for repair are the at Lake Casse Dam, and the ones at Teakettle Lake and Upper Teakettle Lake.

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The environmental consulting firm Weston and & Sampson was the firm that won the bid to prepare the plans and specs necessary to bid out for the actual work and Nicky Diggs Excavation (Katonah) was awarded the contract to perform the job with an overall bid of $298,833 (Lake Casse, $183,450; Upper Teakettle, $68,164; Lower Teakettle $47,2190).

Town comptroller Mary Ann Maxwell reported that since the lake district’s fund balances had insufficient cash to finance there are not enough funds in the lake district’s fund balances for the project, so it will have to be bonded. The taxpayers of the Lake Casse and Teakettle Park Lake Districts would have to pay the debt service cost once the project is completed.

Town engineer Rich Franzetti told the board at its Feb. 13 meeting that the town has never performed work of this nature. He said the DEC’s rules were created several years ago requiring an EA be performed every 10 years. Until then, regular assessments were not required.

“This is going to be a multiphase project, and this is Phase 1, which is to remove the trees and shrubs from the face of the dam and the upper and downstream embankments,” Franzetti explained. “Once they are cleared, another assessment will be needed to see if any other repairs need to be done. Once it’s cleared [of trees and brush] we will be able to see if there is any seepage or any other types of repairs that need to be made. We would have to go and look at it at that time, and then design specs would have to be developed and put out to bid to make those additional repairs. It’s being driven by DEC requirements.”

Franzetti said the assessments for these three dams won’t be needed every 10 years. 

“Once these trees are cleared and the embankments are cleared, it will be seeded and grassed, and then they can maintain it as a normal area that needs to be maintained,” he said.

The Town Board still must wait for permission from the county for access to Because workers would have to cross county property to get to Upper Teakettle Lake’s dam, the town still needs access permission from the county before it can authorize any borrowing because workers would have to cross county property to get to it.

“We can’t authorize borrowing until we have property rights in hand (an easement) for Upper Teakettle from the county,” said town attorney Greg Folchetti. “It’s having access that drives the price for the work and future maintenance. It shouldn’t be an issue but it should be in hand before the borrowing [is authorized].”

Folchetti said the board can set the process in motion While it waits for the easement issue to be settled, Folchetti said, the board can set in motion the process, which includes slating a public hearing on the matter, which could come as early as March 4.