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Aerial photo of Mayo Mill Dam on December 20, 2023, two days after a 50-year flood event. 

Executive Summary

 

This steering committee was charged by the town to consider options and alternatives for the future of the Mayo Mill dam and powerhouse. We have spent almost a year gathering enough information to come to informed conclusions and to make a recommendation to the town for future action.

 

  • There was general agreement that the original purpose of the dam for hydroelectric generation was no longer viable.

  • There was also agreement that repairing and retaining the dam in order to support the traditional water level in the river impoundment was not appropriate. Support for maintaining at least some of the impoundment was voiced by several Steering Committee members, since that view of the river is what Dover-Foxcroft residents have known for over a century. However…

  • In the end, we believe that returning the Piscataquis River to its natural, free-flowing state, and working to create a riverfront park as part of downtown revitalization efforts will be the best solution for the community.

  • Among the many reasons include the need to reduce flooding dangers; improvement of the ecology of the area including enhanced fish passage; and the availability of both public and private funding for dam removal resulting in minimal or no net implementation costs to the town.

Thus, we unanimously recommend removal of the dam and extensive landscaping to create a new and attractive public gathering place for the downtown area.

 

Besides the materials in this report a set of the presentations, reports and meeting notes are on this project website.

 

We understand that there is a sense of urgency because of the one-time abundance of Federal funding available for projects such as this. While there is a lot of competition for these funds, the project contemplated here likely stands a good chance of approval if we act in the next few months.

 

We appreciate the opportunity to have served on this committee, are grateful for the excellent, professional support of our consultants and facilitators and are prepared to continue our activities at least through a public forum in the near future and further as you may direct.

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