Cambridge council pausing Riverside Dam rebuild
Instead of spending millions of dollars to rebuild the Riverside Dam in Cambridge, city council chose to monitor the structure for a cheaper cost.
City staff will monitor and inspect the dam every year at a cost of about $30,000 and will inform council if the structure sustains any significant changes.
"Council made a decision to rebuild the dam, and now have decided to put a pause on that decision because of the debt load that we would be carrying," said Donna Reid, Ward 1 Councillor for the City of Cambridge.
The cost to rebuild has ballooned from $6.2 million to $15.2 million due in part to rising construction costs and additional environmental measures.
Reid said council wasn’t ready to let it go, because of its significance to residents in the Preston community.
"We can keep an eye on the dam and make sure nothing happens to it," Reid said. "Riverside Park is one of our signature parks, and the millpond has always been a part of it. I think people really feel a kinship with it."
Residents of Cambridge had mixed emotions about the structure and the plan.
"I actually love taking pictures, just aesthetically it kind of adds to the park and the community," Terry Boyer, a Cambridge resident said. "It doesn’t really serve a purpose other than to look good."
"I believe it looks ugly. It doesn’t serve any purpose," Hazar Sasila, a Cambridge resident said. "Let it fall, I believe. I would let it fall. $30,000 that’s nothing compared to millions if you want to spend and what are you going to get really?"
Reid said if something happens to the dam, Council will have to make an ultimate decision about next steps.