YARMOUTH — The Town Council will host a public hearing in January on the possibility of removing two dams in the Royal River to restore its natural flow into Casco Bay.

Five of seven councilors agreed Monday that the town-owned dams – one just above Bridge Street and one just below East Elm Street – should be removed, said Chairman Steve Woods.

The council will discuss the issue in a workshop session Jan. 5 and hold a public hearing on Jan. 19.

“We’re inviting the public to come out and tell us what they think,” Woods said.

Councilors Erv Bickford and Carl Winslow weren’t at the Dec. 5 meeting.

If the council decided to remove the dams, the town would still need to secure funding and permission from several government agencies, Woods said.

Town leaders have been seriously considering the idea of removing the dams for several months.

The granite and concrete barriers, which create a lake effect in the river, once served industries that occupied the banks of the slow-moving river.

Municipal officials dropped the water level to inspect the Bridge Street dam last summer and advocates for removing the dams recently held two informational forums.