Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that she secured $819,000 for the replacement of the Welchville Dam in Oxford in the draft Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill.
As the Ranking Member and lead Republican on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Collins secured funding for this project in the bill, which was officially released by the full Senate Appropriations Committee today and must now be voted upon by the full Senate and House.
“The Welchville Dam is an important linchpin of the Oxford ecosystem and supports a number of recreational opportunities in the region, from boating to fishing,” said Senator Collins. “Ensuring that this dam is in good condition is essential to protecting lives and property downstream and preserving the shoreline environment and property values upstream. By supporting the replacement of the Welchville Dam, this funding would help ensure that it continues to serve the Oxford region for another century. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I will champion this funding as the appropriations process moves forward.”
The Welchville Dam was reconstructed in 1888 to impound 4,224 acres of water. It sits on the Little Androscoggin River and impacts the water levels of both Hogan and Whitney ponds. The dam also has a large influence on the wetland habitats of the surrounding lowlands and nearby bodies of water such as Thompson Lake, which is known for its landlocked salmon, summer youth camps, and approximately 1,200 seasonal and year-round residential properties.
The deterioration of the dam may present a threat to the integrity of the dam and public safety. Therefore, this funding would be used to replace the failing Welchville Dam.