City should get state, federal help for dam

The City of Lock Haven should not have to shoulder the sole financial responsbility for repairing Tidlow Dam.

But that is the case as the city has let a contract for $393,000 to repair the infrastructure, with work set to begin this fall and continue probably through early 2020.

City Manager Greg Wilson told The Express as far as he understands there is only grant money available to remove the dam … not to fix it.

That doesn’t make sense. Why only remove, not repair?

Because the city owns the dam, which benefits the county as a whole and neighboring townships, the city must pay for repairs.

The state and federal governments should have funds available to repair Tidlow and other dams.

Without that help, money to pay for the local work is part of well over $3 million the city borrowed late last year for Tidlow and other infrastructure work.

Tidlow Dam on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River just below the Corman Amphitheature is essentially leaking such that there is a small whirlpool on the upriver side of the structure.

The contract for repairs was awarded to Greenland Construction of Clearfield.

Work will be paid for through a 2018 borrowing package, City Manager Gregory Wilson told The Express last week.

“As part of the 2018 city borrowing package, $629,000 was borrowed for the river-related projects of which $300,000 was estimated for repairs to the Tidlow Dam and $329,000 for improvements to the levee including updating the lighting and resurfacing the walkways,” Wilson said. “Since the Tidlow project came in at $393,000, that will leave only $236,000 in the borrowing toward levee repairs.”

It appears the contractor will have to smash the damaged concrete panel in the dam.

That’ll lower the water rather quickly and the city is prepared to notify landowners and boaters in advance so their assets can be moved out.

A causeway will need to be built … and all depends, of course, on Mother Nature.

Boaters will tell you that the summer of 2019 has been a good one compared to the last two, when heavy and incessant rains kept the river high and muddy.

Notice of the work — and the lowering of the water — will come in the near future, we’re told.

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