Selectmen choose firm to dredge pond

NH Executive Council approves $50K grant for Osgood project

MILFORD – The last piece of funding has been approved for the long-delayed Osgood Pond project, and dredging should begin next month.

On June 15, Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Execu­tive Council approved a grant from the state Fish and Game Department for $50,000.

"Everything is in place, so we can finally begin the process," said Fred El­kind, the town’s environ­mental coordinator.

Work should begin around Monday, July 11, he said. Sometime after July 4, the 20-acre ponds water level will be low­ered to allow the soils to dry so they will be easier to handle.

At the selectmen’s June 13 meeting, they said Phil­lip H. Mathewson, of Han­cock, has been selected for the job.

Town Administrator Mark Bender said the com­pany has "a well-thought-out and detailed plan to optimize the acreage."

The town’s $270,000 contract with Mathewson calls for the company to dredge 2 to 5 feet of ma­terial from about 5 acres of the pond near Adams Park. That will provide a depth of about 7 feet to make it more suitable for fishing and boating.

Two access points to the pond have been created. The access closer to Os­good Road will become a canoe and kayak launch, and a fishing pier will be located toward the back of Adams Field.

The dredged material will be "dewa­tered" onsite, and the material might be used to reclaim Brox property gravel ar­eas if it’s found to be suitable, Bender said. The company has agreed to keep the streets clean.

Almost 40 years ago, the town’s largest wa­ter body filled up with silt and weeds, and officials started talking about cleaning it up. Twenty years ago, the town established the capital reserve fund for the project.

Money has always been the big issue. Over the years, costs skyrocketed and the town scaled down the extent of the dredg­ing. About 10 years ago, a plan proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would have cost about $1 million to clear 15 acres of the 20-acre pond, with Milford responsi­ble for about $400,000.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.