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Squannacook River Dam Information

The Town of Groton is part owner of the Dam in West Groton located on the Squannacook River located next to the River Court residents. The Town took possession of this dam in the early 1990’s and has performed various repairs and inspections in order to keep the Town in compliance with the Office of Dam Safety.  The other half of the Dam is located in Shirley and is privately owned.  Please note that the Town line is in the middle of the Squannacook River.  The Shirley side of the Dam is in disrepair and the owner has no interest in restoration.  In addition, the land/property in Shirley is in tax title as the owner has not paid taxes in quite some time.  The Town of Shirley has no intention on foreclosing on the property as they do not want to take on the liability of restoring the Shirley side of the Dam.  This puts the Town of Groton at considerable risk and liability based on its half ownership.  The Town needs to decide how to proceed.
To make the best and most appropriate decision, the Town of Groton needs information.  To that end, the Town of Groton Department of Public Works applied for and received a grant through the Department of Ecological Restoration(DER) to study and determine the feasibility of removing the West Groton Dam.   It is important to note that this Study will provide the Town with solid information to make an informed decision (by the Select Board) if it is feasible to remove the Dam.  The Study will focus on soils, flow, up and down stream disturbances, as well as,  what permitting may be needed should the Town decide to remove the Dam.  In the end, the Town will have information on possible scenarios to limit its liability and make sure the area is safe for residents and the public.   As stated, the Town of Groton Select Board will make the final determination on how to proceed based on public input and the information received from the Study.
The DPW will be uploading documents to this site as the Study moves forward, along with information on upcoming meetings and other pertinent information.  It is expected that the Study will be completed by July, 2024.
The DPW will also be holding a brief informational meeting on the purpose and scope of the study at The Groton Senior Center on Monday 26 at 5 pm. This informational meeting will explain what is being studied, how and why it is being studied and the liability of the Town and the other Dam owner, including the time frame of the Study and future decision points.  There will be no decisions on next steps at this meeting, only what information is being gathered.
To submit any history or comments on the project, please send them to Jonas Procton  jprocton@horsleywitten.com, the Lead Consultant for the Project.