10 April 2013: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC petition for release from dam ownership UPDATE

I went to the Whitefield Selectman’s meeting last night to listen to what they had to say about the Clary Lake dam issue. They discussed among other things the need for the town to hold a public meeting to “consider and act” on the issue of dam ownership within 60 days of being notified of the filing of the petition (April 1st). Per the statute, both the town of Whitefield and the town of Jefferson have to hold these public meetings. Tentative dates were discussed as was the fact that 60 days (now 50) isn’t a lot of time.

At issue is whether or not the town (or towns, with an interlocal agreement)  should own the dam, with or without a maintenance and operations agreement with the Clary Lake Association. The Selectmen agreed that they’d be contacting their counterparts  in Jefferson to discuss this.

The DEP will also further define what constitutes the “costs of transfer” which at a minimum need to be borne by or at least shared by the new dam owner. The actual wording of the statute is:


1. Compensation. A dam owner is not prohibited from requesting compensation for the transfer of a dam pursuant to this article. The department may not issue a water release order pursuant to section 905 to a dam owner who has refused to transfer the dam to a person willing to assume ownership of the dam because that person refused to compensate the dam owner for the property. The department may not refuse to issue the order if the dam owner requested only payment or a share in payment of the costs of transfer.

“Costs of transfer” to me means the fees to have a title search done, a deed prepared, and the cost of recording it. That’s the beauty of this statute: Anybody can afford to buy a dam 🙂

It was also mentioned that the DEP has determined that the PPM petition is NOT complete as filed. Apparently DEP has questions about who owns what and wants supporting documentation of dam ownership and title. No doubt this has something to do with questions the DEP has over the ability of Pleasant Pond Mill LLC has to meet the provisions of the Statute regarding what property and property rights are to be transferred to a new owner. This should be interesting.

3 thoughts on “10 April 2013: Pleasant Pond Mill LLC petition for release from dam ownership UPDATE

  1. sviti789

    George, can you explain the Aug 1st date? Wasn’t the petition recently filed? If it’s not complete according to DEP I’m confused again about the date. Thanks.

    1. George Fergusson Post author

      Erf. Good catch. Typo. I meant April 1st. I’ll edit it now.

      Fitting, or perhaps ironic that Pleasant Pond Mill filed their petition notice on April Fools day?

    2. George Fergusson Post author

      Also, according to the statute, the 60 days starts counting from when the notice of intent to file the petition is given, not when the petition is actually accepted by the Department as complete. This is perhaps an oversight by the Legislature.

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