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Looking Ahead

NORTH CREEK - Despite frigid temperatures and mountains of snow outside the door, the Johnsburg Town Board topped their Jan. 20 agenda with a "warm weather" discussion.

The meeting opened with a presentation by local engineer, Jim Hutchins, detailing his analysis of the dam failure on North Creek, and its impact on the adjacent swimming area.

At the town's request, Hutchins presented a plan for the rebuilding of the dam structure using a more stable "rock crib" system.

Hutchins was hesitant to estimate the cost of rebuilding the dam, and the various permit fees, but said he would expect the project to run between $25,000 and $50,000.

The dam failed early in the spring of 2008, resulting in a considerable water level drop in the swimming area. During the summer season, several public concerns were voiced regarding water quality and swimmer safety.

While the area passed repeated water tests and safety measures were put in place, the swimming area is believed to have suffered from low attendance last year due to the water issue.

While Hutchins' plan was commended for its thoroughness, several audience members expressed concern over the costly reinstallation of the dam.

Ski Bowl Park Committee Chair, Peter Olesheski, further questioned the board on the real intent of the project and noted his group's commitment to restoring (and possibly improving) the swimming area.

With that, Olesheski introduced local building contractor, Bob Nessle, and his solution that called for an innovative approach to the problem.

Nessle's design would center around the installation of a low-cost piping system that would provide fresh water from North Creek directly into the swimming area. According to Nessle, the swimming area would be restored to its former level within three weeks and would maintain that level at no further cost to the town.

Several audience and Board members acknowledged that Nessle's plan sounded viable. Supervisor Goodspeed requested that Hutchins and Nessle meet to review the concept and report back to the Board.

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