To the editor:
In the new year, we will likely be asked to vote on a series of options regarding the future of the Bristol Mills Dam and fish ladder, which are both in need of significant repair and severely limit the passage of alewives upstream. I’m writing to encourage residents to become as educated on the subject as possible before any votes are cast.
I would strongly urge everyone to go onto the town of Bristol’s website and look at the feasibility report that our town’s dam advisory committee spent the last year developing with the engineering firm Wright-Pierce. The Bristol selectmen requested the study to develop options that will increase the passage of alewives, a historically important species to our river whose population has dwindled to the brink of collapse.
While talking to many community members, it has become clear that there is a large amount of misinformation being spread, both online and by some public officials. To be clear, it was mandated by the selectmen that every option proposed must, at a minimum, address three critical issues:
1. To maintain firefighting water capacity at or above its current level
2. To maintain a source of recreational swimming in the town
3. To maintain water levels upstream of the current dam
If anyone says that any of the options presented in the report reduce the amount of water available to the fire department, do not offer a place to swim, or lower water levels upstream in places like Biscay Pond, they are giving you false information.
The facts are all available within the report and press releases, which, again, I urge everyone to read online. If you have unanswered questions, please make time to attend the meetings of the Bristol Dam Advisory Committee. They have been working tirelessly on this project for a year, and are able to answer any questions or concerns you might have about the various options. They are there to provide unbiased facts, something we desperately need in today’s political climate. When it comes time to vote, make it an informed one.