Representative Justin Price meets with DEM to discuss accelerated timeline to make improvements to the Wyoming Upper Dam in the Richmond-Hopkinton area of Rhode Island
STATE HOUSE – Representative Justin Price (R- District 39, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond) met recently with Department of Environmental Management (DEM) officials with safety and engineering responsibilities for dam maintenance to discuss the Wyoming Upper Dam that is currently listed on DEM’s Dam Safety Annual Report.
“My constituents and I pay close attention to the conditions of dams as well as the impact that these dams may have on private wells,’ Representative Price said. “ I am pleased that my meeting with DEM was both productive and promising – my goal was to determine if we could jumpstart the necessary repairs to the Wyoming Upper Dam in the Hopkinton - Richmond area. At my behest, we also discussed what impact this dam has on nearby privately owned wells.”
DEM would not agree to a temporary fix of the gate at the center of the dam due to safety issues.
“Planning for repair work on the dam begins with a two-part process,” explained Representative Price. “Part one requires DEM to issue what is referred to as a RFP Design. This particular RFP will identify the scope of work required to make the repairs, and the length of time that those repairs will take inclusive of all permitting processes.” Price continued, “Once the proposal for the Design phase is completed, DEM will issue a RFP to determine the cost of completing the work.”
The RFPs should be fully issued by the end of October of this year. “That’s good news” said Price, “We are hopeful that the cost to repair the Wyoming Upper Dam will allow DEM to bump up the work to the top of the priority list. It may be that this work will be done sooner than we expected.”
Representative Price discussed potential financial assistance for replacing existing “shallow’ wells with “deep” wells - the costs to do this often are prohibitive for many people. “Community Development Block Grants may be available to assist in switching over private wells that tend to run shallow,” Price said.
Anyone who is interested in making an inquiry regarding eligibility for a grant should begin by contacting Mr. Geoffrey A. Marchant, Director, Community Development Consortium (401-886-3213). “The grants are income based and wells may need to meet certain criteria including the water quality and water level during the summer months.”
“I will continue to monitor the progress of the RFP’s. My constituents should be kept fully informed on when the repairs on the Wyoming Upper Dam will be slated for completion.”
For more information, contact:
Lisa Blais, House Minority Office
State House Room 106
Providence, RI 02903