CLARKSBURG, W.Va.-The Clarksburg Water Board is facing the decision of whether to remove the Hartland Dam. Representatives from American Rivers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife have been researching ways to effectively make this happen and were given a deadline of this month to present their findings.
“My presentation focused on the community benefits, which would primarily include converting additional land around the West Fork River and the VA and the mayor’s fitness trail into additional recreation facilities and also to have stabilized riverbanks so that slipping along the riverbank wouldn’t be a problem, damage to the trail, and then the opportunity to create shade on the river which would then improve the water quality,” said Lisa Hollingsworth-Segedy of American Rivers.
While organizations shared why they think the dam’s removal would be beneficial to the community, this project also comes with some concerns.
“If you remove the dam, you’d have difficulty diverting the water into the current pump station wet well. The wet well is a little too shallow for that to work, but looking at the existing water withdrawal pump station, the station is aged and in need of a renovation and modernization to bring it up to current needs,” said Linda Pass of Stantec Consulting.
The meeting concluded with a question and answer portion, during which the board members were able to voice any concerns they had. Speakers say it was important to them to be able to communicate with the board directly.
“When you’ve got a lot of information you can put it together in a report, but there’s no substitute for coming out and meeting face to face and explaining what you did, why you did, what the outcome was,” said Hollingsworth-Segedy.
Members of the water board will continue to discuss this issue and say they do not want to rush their decision.