April 20, 2018
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Camden residents voice concern about impact of Snow Bowl redevelopment on nearby pond

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

CAMDEN, Maine — Property owners along Hosmer Pond continue to voice concerns about the impact Camden Snow Bowl’s redevelopment project is having on the nearby body of water.

At Tuesday night’s Select Board meeting, resident Ronald Hawkins called to halt the project to allow vegetation to regrow on the cleared areas of the mountain.

He called the logging operation thus far a disaster. He said the town did not need a crystal ball to know heavy rains can be expected in June.

Dorie Klein said she was concerned whether the amount of silt that has entered the pond during three heavy rain storms during the past few weeks could have long term damage to the pond. Klein, whose property abuts the Snow Bowl, has swam, kayaked and walked along the section of the pond where the silt has flowed and said it is was already shallow.

Klein said if the Snow Bowl uses twice as much water for snowmaking with the redevelopment, she is worried the cove could be lowered too much.

“This is a critical area of the pond,” she said.

Dana Strout said the town should have had a professional project manager oversee the entire project. He said the failure to have one was an open invitation to a contractor to do what they want.

Town Manager Patricia Finnigan said the Maine Department of Environmental Protection reviewed the steps taken by the town. While more needs to be done, the agency urged Camden officials to keep up what they were doing.

The logging operation went well from the start on March 17 until June 13, when an overnight storm dumped 3½ inches of rain, the town manager said. That heavy rain carried uncovered soil into the pond. She acknowledged the logger went beyond what was supposed to be done in the final weeks of its job.

This was followed by another heavy rain June 25 and 26, which caused more silt to flow in the pond.

This is when the DEP stepped in and met with the town and some neighbors to discuss ways to prevent the erosion to continue.

In the days leading up to the rains from Tropical Storm Arthur, as many as 40 workers from Farley and Sons worked to place bales of hay and install other erosion-control measures, Camden Snow Bowl General Manager Landon Fake said. Volunteers from the ski club and the Ragged Mountain Foundation came over to help. Aldermere Farm in Rockport donated 200 bales of hay and Mid-Coast Solid Waste Corporation trucked more than 150 cubic yards of mulch.

Tom Wells of Royal Trail Works Inc., whose firm will be creating the trials, said he believes what the town has done will prevent 95 percent of the silt from entering into the pond. Wells’ first day on the Camden Snow Bowl project was Tuesday.

Resident Hidetaro Suzuki asked how many more years of muddy water the property owners will experience.

Select Board member Donald White Jr. said the pond seems to be flushing the silt out.

The logging began in March as part of a $6.5 million redevelopment of the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area. About 15 acres was cleared to create the new trails.

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