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May 22, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Set to Release
Environmental Bond Earmark
FITCHBURG - Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale was notified by Secretary Matthew Beaton, of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), that funding will be released from a bond bill the Mayor secured while serving as State Representative to the 3rd Worcester District.
In 2014, then Representative DiNatale, successfully secured $375,000 in the Environmental Bond Bill, Chapter 286 of the Acts of 2014. These funds were earmarked for the city to address the ongoing concerns with the McTaggart’s Pond Dam. In April of this year, the dam was declared “unsafe,” which lead to DPW crews draining the pond.
“These funds could not have come at a better time and will assist the city with our final decision on how to best proceed with the future of the dam at McTaggart’s Pond. I would like to thank Governor Baker and Secretary Beaton for their support of our community and recognizing the challenges old dams bring to municipalities,” said Mayor DiNatale.
“Communities around the Commonwealth are on the front lines of climate change and environmental protection, and the Baker-Polito Administration is committed to assisting our municipal partners and stakeholders in the removal of aging dams and restoration of ecosystems and habitats,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By addressing the future of McTaggart’s Pond Dam, the City of Fitchburg is taking critical steps to protect residents, increase climate preparedness, and support critical environmental habitat.”
Currently, as a temporary solution, a “filter” will be designed to stabilize the seeping that is occurring from underneath the dam. The city is reviewing the options with respect to removing the dam completely or breaching it, which would entail removing enough of the dam to allow the rivers’ flow to pass through. Understandably, public safety is the city’s primary concern. The city is observing the dam on a daily basis and is working to keep the water levels as low as possible.