August 4, 2013

City of Plattsburgh mulls Mead Dam repairs

PLATTSBURGH — Bids for repairs to a City of Plattsburgh dam have come in way over estimates, causing the Common Council to reconsider its options.

“We are going to have to re-evaluate the overall scope and costs of this project, and we will work with the appropriate state agencies to come up with a a solution that meets everyone’s needs,” Mayor Donald Kasprzak told the Press-Republican.

“There is a lot more information that we need to get now, and we will be working on that.”


In 2009, it was determined that the spillway on the 92-year-old Mead Dam off Rand Hill Road in the Town of Plattsburgh does not meet modern requirements. The spillway is a structure that controls the release of water overflow to prevent damage to a dam.

The spillway chute — a long concrete slide that carries overflow into a nearby stream — also needs to be replaced.

The dam controls water at the city’s reservoir. Water is gravity-fed from the reservoir to the city’s filtration system plant on Hammond Lane, also in the Town of Plattsburgh, just west of the city boundary.

From there, it is delivered to the city.


The city, based on information from consultant CHA of Albany, estimated the cost for the repairs to be about $3.8 million.

But bids recently received from contractors to perform the work ranged from $6.9 million to as high as $8.5 million.

City Environmental Engineer Jonathan Ruff surmised the bids came in higher than expected because the contractors believed the designs for the improvement were more complex than presented in the specifications of the project. Also, the cost of reinforced concrete has gone up since the work was outlined.

Ruff said the project is being re-evaluated to see if the changes on the dam and the spillway can be modified.

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