Several western Massachusetts cities received government grants to improve or remove deteriorating dams.
The city of Westfield received a $396,000 grant to take down the Tekoa Dam and at the same time cause no harm to the environment.
The Tekoa Dam is no longer used to generate power, and now only serves as an ecological barrier on the Moose Meadow Brook.
It will be dismantled in stages thanks to the nearly $400,000 grant.
“The plan is it to take the dam down level by level so the stream system has time to basically adjust to the change in levels,” said Heather Stayton, Assistant Engineer at the Westfield DPW.
Taking down the dam will connect the cold water habitat and fish in Moose Meadow Brook to the rest of the watershed that connects to the Westfield River.
The city of Springfield received an $84,000 grant to repair to the Upper Van Horn Dam. The repairs will minimize impacts and risks downstream to Baystate Medical Center and Interstate 91.
Chicopee is also in line for dam-removal money. The grant money for the city of Chicopee will be used for design and engineering work, storm water management and stream restoration for the Lower Bemis Pond Dam at Szot Park.
The rest of the City of Chicopee’s two grants totaling $287,000 will be used to remove the dam that’s been around since the 1860s.
The removal of this dam will also improve safety and ecological conditions while also relieving the city of some of the maintenance expenses.