2013-06-20 / Front Page

Governor’s Office Hears Meadow Grounds Concerns

Repair of dam tops “laundry list” of local issues
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

The repair and refilling of Meadow Grounds Lake topped a “laundry list” of issues affecting Fulton County, a liaison with the Governor’s Office learned Tuesday in sitting down with commissioners Rodney McCray, Craig Cutchall and Irvin Dasher.

Christopher Brennan of the Governor’s Central Regional Office was told by Commissioner Dasher that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has ordered the repair of Roaring Run dam. However, projected repairs could run up to $4 million, a price that’s out of the realm of possibility for the commissioners, said Dasher.

Brennan also heard that the county contracted with engineer Lee Zeger of CES Engineering LLC, who came up with a more economical and viable solution that is in line with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Dasher noted it was a shame there isn’t a mechanism in place for all of the involved parties to sit down and come up with the best solution possible.

McCray, chair of the board, pointed out Meadow Grounds Lake is one of few recreational locally, although they are hopeful something can be done with neighboring Bedford County for the modernization of an abandoned 8.3 mile section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike into a Pike2Bike trail.

McCray added the commissioners have been in contact with senators Rich Alloway and John Eichelberger Jr. regarding Meadow Grounds Lake.

“It would be nice to have some heavyweights in our corner,” said Dasher of the possible influence the Governor’s Office could have on the issue. It was also noted that in certain areas, including the draining of the lake, local government can better handle issues with some advice or guidance from state level.

Brennan assured the commissioners he would do some “poking around” and see what he could come up with. Dasher concluded there are local residents, such as the Friends of Meadow Grounds Lake, who are willing to do the necessary work. In fact, the group contacted The Bedford Gazette for additional publicity concerning their upcoming meeting on June 24, which prompted a conference call Tuesday morning between the commissioners and Gazette Associate Editor Elizabeth Coyle.

In providing background on the matter, McCray told Coyle the commissioners were opposed to the total draining of the lake but not a lot could be done given the involvement of state agencies such as Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and DEP.

McCray said the commissioners ultimately want to see residents living downstream protected but while also addressing the fixing and refilling of the lake.

Meanwhile, Dasher told Coyle the board of commissioners is in ongoing negotiations with the involved entities and did not wish to give too many opinions on the matter. He said having observed the seepage issue firsthand, it was his personal opinion there was no imminent danger of dam failure. Furthermore, he understood DEP and PFBC are airing on the side of caution.

“Bottom line is we’re unhappy it was drained and want to see it refilled as economically as possible,” concluded Cutchall.

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