Former Mayor Forgey weighs in against dam removal

Former mayor of Greenfield, Christine Forgey, wrote a piece in the Greenfield Recorder recommending that the dam be saved.  Some of the notable points that she made were:

  • “…At the time, an agreement was reached to demolish two dams on the Green River, there was little discussion about the history of either dam. A report was issued in 1998 by the Army Corps of Engineers stating that the Wiley-Russell dam, in particular, posed a “significant” hazard.”
  • “… More recently, I was alerted to a newer study, by the respected engineering firm of Fuss and O’Neill, which strongly recommends that the Wiley-Russell dam be reclassified as a “Class III Low Hazard” dam. That 2005 study was substantiated in 2008 by an updated report with the same “Low Hazard” recommendation.”
  • “… A “low hazard” designation presumes NO loss of life, little loss of property and only the slimmest chance of road or infrastructure damage.”
  • “…”The removal of the Wiley-Russell dam will NOT restore the river to the way it was in the late 1600s and early 1700s because the other dams on the Green River will NOT be removed. The other three dams help to supply our drinking water, provide recreation at the swimming pool and protect town infrastructure that runs in the area of the Mill Street Dam.
  • “… As Greenfield works on plans to create a walkway/bikeway along the Green River, running from the Mohawk Trail to Deerfield Street, it now seems ill advised to demolish the historic gem that gave the river and the town substantial prominence in the American Industrial Revolution. Coupled with the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage, the Wiley-Russell dam has great potential to increase industrial tourism and, thus, business potential for the entire town.”

Read the whole article here –>  Greenfield Recorder, Forgey/My Turn: Dam removal revisited, Monday, May 5, 2014