Despite rumors, Norwood Dam work expected to continue through mid August
UPDATED 2:26 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2016 to include report of Congresswoman Stefanik's effort.
BY CRAIG FREILICH
North Country This Week
NORWOOD – Stories circulating in Norwood were suggesting that Brookfield Renewable Power was within two weeks of finishing its work on the dam and restoring normal water levels to the lake.But a Brookfield spokeswoman said they don’t expect to be done before mid-August and would restore the lake level then.
And the worst fears of those who thought the summer recreation program for kids would suffer have not been realized.
“The bulk of the repair work has been done,” said Julie Pelletier, Brookfield’s manager of stakeholder relations, “and we estimate it will be done around the second week of August.”
“We have no plans to raise or lower water levels until that’s done,” she said.
Rumors came into North Country This Week that Brookfield was going to finish up within a couple of weeks.
“There are lots of rumors,” said Norwood Mayor Tim Levison, but he said the last he had heard from Brookfield was that their “best guess was in the middle of August,” which Pelletier has confirmed.
She emphasized that that timeframe was an estimate.
Levison said he had requested that Congresswoman Elise Stefanik’s office look into the question, and the congresswoman's office says their inquiry is underway.
Earlier this year there was concern that the lower water level on the lake would limit the summer recreation program and restrict boating.
“The recreation program is strong,” said Levison. “There were a few minor adjustments at the beach, which the state checked,” he said.
“That includes swimming lessons,” which he had feared would be have to be canceled, but they are starting up in a few days.
The boating picture is different.
“There are very few large boats” on the lake, owing to the low water level and the danger of grounding and damage.
“But there are a lot more kayaks and canoes than ever before,” he said.
Levison said while the date of the second annual Poker Paddle Run – a fundraiser scheduled for Aug. 11 – is around the time that Brookfield says they could finish their work, he thinks the run will proceed as planned.
The Norwood Lake Association event invites paddlers to register, make five stops at stations around the lake to pick up cards, and then come in and compare poker hands. The best hand wins a cash prize, said Levison, who is also Lake Association president, but there are lots of other prizes donated by local businesses, clubs and individuals, for paddlers of all ages.
The proceeds this year, as last year, will go to local non-profit helping agencies.