- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

NORWICH, Vt. (AP) - Legislation to rebuild a dam is gaining support in Norwich four years after it was destroyed by Tropical Storm Irene.

Norwich Selectman Dan Goulet supports legislation requiring the Agency of Natural Resources to authorize reconstruction of the dam over Charles Brown Brook, Vermont Public Radio reports (https://bit.ly/1DtX2UP).

“The dam really should be put back in … ,” Goulet said.

Once a dam washes away, ANR must either deny the construction of a new dam or approve environmental mitigation measures. Norwich Town Manager Neil Fulton said the agency has withheld approval so far. He said ANR is concerned with conductivity - connecting the upstream and downstream so that fish can move in either direction.

ANR is reviewing the request to replace the dam. If no compromise can be reached, Fulton and fellow Selectman Christopher Ashley said they are prepared to fight a legal battle.

Fulton said he’s fielding a lot of phone calls from residents - some of them kids - questioning the dam’s comeback and the return to the popular swimming hole there.

“You know, when you get a call from a 12-year-old that says, ‘Mr. Fulton, when is the dam going to be rebuilt?’ it’s really hard to say, ‘I don’t know, but we’re working really hard on it,’” Fulton said.

The legislation to rebuild is sponsored by Rep. Jim Masland.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, https://www.vpr.net

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