Dredging to begin within two months

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:48

    FRANKLIN-The borough awarded a contract last week to a Pennsylvania company to remove sediment from Franklin Pond beginning "no later than Sept. 15." With a $475,000 state grant to pay for the project, the town asked contractors to state how much material they could remove for that money. A half dozen contractors showed interest in the job, said Mayor Doug Kistle. But only two submitted bids and the contract was awarded to Enviro-AirTech of Coopersburg, Penn. which said it would remove 27, 553 cubic yards of sediment from the pond, which was created a century ago by damming the Wallkill River. The excavated material will be used as fill in a pit behind Borough Hall. Officials said that although the work won't begin before the middle of August and may not start until Sept. 15, the pond had to be drained to let contractors inspect the bottom before submitting bids. The pond won't be refilled until after the work is finished. Kistle said that the project should take about 30 days to complete, depending on the weather. The $475,000 came from a state grant to the borough, which had hoped to dredge the entire pond but had to set tle on a partial dredging instead when no further funding became available. The borough wants to concentrate on an area near the borough garage on Corkhill Road where the river's main channel enters, in order to improve the flow of water into the pond. Serious flooding from massive rains on Aug. 12, 2000 brought extra amounts of silt into that channel, forcing water to cut new channels in the pond. "We're going to dig it down so we can get a good channel now," Kistle said. The pond, which serves as the borough's backup water supply, was once used for swimming, but in recent years it has grown shallow and been clogged in some areas with vegetation. Borough officials feel that not even a full dredging could have guaranteed the return of swimming there, since the pond has also had frequent high bacterial counts.