FAYETTE — The lower water level of David Pond this year has spurred those with waterfront property and waterfront access there to organize in search of a solution.

They say recent damage to a rock pile impoundment at the north end of the pond caused the water level to take a significant drop, and they cite concerns about the effect on “wildlife, recreation, ecology, and declining property values and the resulting losses to the town tax base,” in a website posting by Elizabeth Hicks.

“This impoundment has been there since the 1920s and maintained by people around the lake to keep the water level at its historic normal level,” Hicks said in an interview.

Hicks is one of eight people on a steering committee looking for a solution. “We don’t know how stable the current situation is,” she said. “We would like to move on it very quickly.”

Suggestions have included coming up with an interlocal agreement between town officials and property owners along the pond on the western edge of Kennebec County.

Neighboring Parker Pond, for instance, has an association that was formed to care for the pond and to own and maintain the dam at the outlet stream.

When Hicks and others brought their concerns to the Fayette Board of Selectmen, she said, they received sympathy but were told the board could do little because the impoundment was in neighboring Chesterville, which is in Franklin County.

Jon Beekman, chairman of the selectmen, said in an interview that it’s a “contentious issue” complicated by the fact that the dam structure is in Chesterville and privately owned. Beekman said selectmen provided the association members with meeting space last week at Fayette Central School.

“We really have no authority to do anything except provide support in that way,” he said. “I live on a lake also, and water levels fluctuate, but the disadvantage David Pond has is it’s very shallow. So instead of a couple feet of rocky shoreline, it apparently turns into a mud flat in front of properties very quickly.”

Beekman thinks it will take some time and permits to resolve the issue, but “I think they’re on the right path.”

Hicks worries that the pond level could drop farther. “There is some concern that if it gets completely breached, there will be a lot of outflow, and it may affect Parker Pond as well,” she said. “What we’d like first is a public hearing with the Department of Environmental Protection.”

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: betadams

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