City Officials Issue Update on Mount Ida Dam

City Officials Issue Update on Mount Ida Dam

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2019

City Officials Issue Update on Mount Ida Dam

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TROY, NY – City officials today issued the following update on the status of the Mt. Ida Dam project:

Due to continued public interest in the project and a commitment to transparency the City has felt it important to provide an update on the status of the Mt. Ida Dam.

A meeting was held earlier this month with representatives from the City of Troy, NYS DEC (dam safety, permitting, and fisheries), Army Corp of Engineers, and Ampersand Energy. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the structural concerns of the dam and final details before permitting – including the why, when, how, and alternatives of this project.

WHY: The necessity of this project is to remediate an immediate concern of public safety due to the structural unsoundness of the current Mt. Ida Dam. This action is necessary to protect downstream neighbors and properties.

WHEN: Due to the current condition of the dam, the temporary controlled breach will occur as soon as possible. Again, this effort is to protect downstream neighbors. The city wants to remediate the safety concerns before a large storm or thawing event.

HOW: As previously discussed, the city maintains that a controlled breach involving the removal of a portion of the dam is the best immediate action to protect the public, and provides for time to further research future scenarios.

ALTERNATIVES: Alternatives to temporary deconstruction of the dam were discussed. All alternatives either:

  • had an adverse effect on either the current structure by adding weight to a structurally unsound dam, or
  • were of a temporary measure that may not provide enough stability to increase the life of the dam and therefore causing a significant hazard to downstream neighbors and properties.

Through the discussion it became clear that the original plan to remove a portion of the dam under controlled conditions is the best scenario under the current circumstances and that prolonging the work will only delay the inevitable and keep downstream neighbors and properties at unnecessary risk. The city remains in communication with Ampersand Energy and will coordinate with them throughout the process to minimize disruption to their facility. However, our principal concern remains the safety of the public who reside near the Poesten Kill below the Ida Dam.

The permit will require the City to follow a schedule for determining the long term plan for the dam, and implementation of the plan. This plan ranges in options between the full decommissioning of the current dam to the complete rebuild of the dam. The current work is emergency work only and NOT the long term solution.

Following completion, the city will hold additional public meetings to collect comments on the long term plan for the Mt. Ida Dam area.

NEXT STEPS: As stated during previous public meetings, the emergency work is temporary and will include the contractor working under the dam to construct a channel. Following this process, removal of sediment that has accumulated on the dam structure will occur. Once those items are complete a small portion of the middle will be slowly removed to prevent a drastic change in water level and allow for the water level to safely lower. At the conclusion of this work some sediment removal will occur to limit the occurrence of a washout.

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Press Contact:
John Salka, Deputy Director of Public Information
[email protected] / (518) 279-7131