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Dam removal contract awarded

April 13, 2005|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council on Monday awarded a $1.35 million contract to breach the Birch Run Dam in Michaux State Forest.

The contract went to the low bidder, John W. Gleim Jr. Inc. of Carlisle, Pa. The company submitted a bid less than half the $2.88 million bid by Conewago Enterprises of Hanover, Pa.

Under a water allocation agreement reached with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection last year, the borough is obligated to remove the dam, which no longer is used as a reservoir for the borough's water system, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said.

Oyer said the DEP determined several years ago that the dam posed a hazard because of seepage and an inadequate spillway. The contract calls for the contractor to remove the dam and spillway, and restore Conococheague Creek to its original course, he said.

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Oyer said the project could begin this summer and will take about six months to complete.

The contract will be paid for with money from the borough's water capital reserve fund, Oyer said. While the borough has received several million dollars in grants in recent years for other water projects, Oyer said the reserve fund is money that has been accumulated from water customers over the years to pay for anticipated water projects.

The reservoir for Birch Run Dam had a capacity of 378 million gallons. The borough's primary source of water is the reservoir at nearby Long Pine Dam, which has a capacity of approximately 1.8 billion gallons, according to Oyer.

Under the 25-year water allocation agreement with DEP, the borough can draw up to 6 million gallons a day, Oyer said.

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