Comment sought on Conway pool plan

Written responses due by Tuesday

CONWAY — The public has until Tuesday to comment on the Conway Swimming Pool Committee’s plans to repair the popular summer spot off Whately Road.

In December, the pool committee submitted engineering plans to repair the pool’s dam to the state Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs under the state Environmental Policy Act.

By fall, the dam embankments would be repaired, the spillway would be replaced and the upper recreation area would be improved, according to the project proposal by Fuss & O’Neill, an engineering company based in West Springfield.

The state executive secretary of energy and environmental affairs will receive public comments on the project for 20 days and then decide within 10 days if an environmental impact report is needed. A site visit may also be scheduled.

The pool committee has run the pool since it was built as a man-made pond in 1950. The pool committee is a private, nonprofit organization that operates the pool independently of town government and relies on private donations and no tax dollars.

The public comment period lasts 20 days. It started Dec. 17.

Project Engineer Kristine Baker said there will be additional opportunities for public comment on the project associated with the Water Quality Certification, Army Corps Section 404 Individual Permit, and the Notice of Intent under the Wetlands Protection Act. This includes a public hearing at a Conway Conservation Commission meeting. Those permit applications have not yet been submitted.

Those wishing to comment on the project should write to the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs at 100 Cambridge St., Suite 900, Boston. Letters should be directed to MEPA Office. Copies of the project proposal can be obtained from Fuss & O’Neill’s Eric Bernardin at 78 Interstate Drive, West Springfield or 413-452-0445.

The pool has been closed for two summers after leaks were discovered in the dam that impounds the Pumpkin Hollow Brook. The pool committee has not publicly discussed of late how it hopes to raise the money needed for construction or how much it estimates the job will cost. About a year ago the town gave $123,000 toward the project from its Community Preservation Fund.

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