Council members meet with state representatives regarding Lowery Dam
The dam hasn't been upgraded or repaired since 1960.
By ERIC GROSSO
NEWTON FALLS -- After years of discussion on the future of the Lowery Dam, two Newton Falls officials are asking state representatives for advice.
Council member Eric Thompson and City Manager David Watson met last week with State Reps. Sandra Harwood, D-65th, and Randy Law, R-64th, in an informal session to discuss the future of the dam.
"We explained to them the difficulties in the ongoing Lowery project. After hearing what they said, we left with some new optimism we didn't have before," said Thompson.
"To get a Democrat and a Republican to sit down with us to discuss the issue, it was a real feather in our cap," Thompson added.
The project will most likely be funded through the State Issue 2 Program, according to Watson. Issue 2 funds require a minimum of 10 percent to be paid by the city and are designated for city infrastructure repair.
Still in good shape
The dam hasn't been upgraded or repaired since 1960 when it was used as a hydroelectric facility. Even though it's been more than 40 years, the dam is still in good shape, Watson said.
The city did take bids for an original plan to simply seal off the structure, taking away the ability to control the water flow through the structure. The city decided to hold off on those plans and explore other options.
In October, the city lowered the water level, letting the Army Corps of Engineers take video and still pictures of the area.
The council had preliminary talks on whether to completely replace the dam or repair it in October. Since then, no major plans have materialized.