Dam near Mt. Marion Elementary will be repaired

The damaged Mount Marion dam (photo by Robert Ford)

Seven years after it was breached by a tree which fell during Hurricane Irene, a dam on Plattekill Creek will be mended using funds from the NY Rising program. According to Fire Commissioners board chairman and town highway superintendent Doug Myer, the need for its repair is dire; should nearby Mount Marion Elementary School experience a fire emergency, a high water level in the river could be vital in putting out flames.

“When the first trucks [would] come in, they [would] use the fire hydrant outside the school and the water on the truck. That’s [only] good until we drain the tank,” said Myer. “[It’s] tied to a public water supply, and 210 houses share the water supply. We are unable at present to draft water from the creek, because the dam has continued to deteriorate — it’s down six to eight inches of water, not deep enough to supply the fire trucks.”

According to the insurance service officer, said Myer, putting out a fire on the premises would take 1,500 gallons on the fire per minute for a total of three hours — a total of 270,000 gallons. The holding tank only contains 100,000 gallons.


Bids for the project opened up on Aug. 23; Bast Hatfield Construction of Clifton Park has bid the lowest at $222,222.

Myer said that 95 percent of the current dam, 165.5 feet across and three feet six inches high, will be replaced. The new structure will be five feet wide at its base, two feet wide at the top and 42 inches above the existing bedrock. The project, which should begin late this year or early next year, will take about a month to finish.