CAMDEN — Members of Save the Dam Falls asked the Select Board to let townspeople vote on preserving Montgomery Dam, while another person asked for a vote on removing the dam.

These and other requests were made during the public input section at the beginning of the Oct. 19 Select Board meeting.

Ken Gross and Tom Rothwell petitioned the Select Board to place an article on the next warrant issued to preserve the Montgomery Dam — or to call a special town meeting for its consideration.

They are registered voters and citizens of Camden, Gross said, and made their request on behalf of themselves and the Save the Dam Falls committee from Camden.

Gross read the wording of the article voters would see on a future ballot:

“Shall the town protect, preserve, maintain and repair the existing Montgomery Dam near Harbor Park in Camden.”

“We want to maintain the Montgomery Dam near Harbor Park and to prevent the destruction of the dam, falls and mill pond,” he said.

“Town officials have carefully and consistently avoided any opportunity for townspeople to voice our opinions and to have any affect on the proposed plan,” Rothwell said.

“The townspeople of Camden deserve to be heard and the purpose of the petition “is a plea to be heard,” he said.

“The waterfall at the head of Camden Harbor is on icon of the town. It represents the best that Camden has to offer in terms of beauty, economic vitality and historical legacy,” Rothwell said.

“Taking down the Montgomery Dam is a momentous decision. This decision should have received a great deal of discussion,” he said.

“The town should have offered design reviews and evaluations of citizens attitudes about the value of the waterfall, Harbor Park, fish passage and flood mitigation. To date, these discussions have not happened.”

On Oct. 14, Gross sent a request in writing to the Select Board to add an item on their Oct. 19 meeting agenda for discussion of the warrant article to preserve the dam. He provided the full text of the warrant article, he said.

The request was made on behalf of Save the Dam Falls and sent to Chair Bob Falciani. The item Gross requested was not placed on the agenda.

On Oct. 19, Select Board Chair Bob Falciani responded, with what he said was a statement.

“We, the town, will be producing a sequence of events,” he said. “It’s what we’re doing between now and whenever.”

The process will be long, and it’s constantly moving, he said. As part of the “sequence of events we’ll be discussing things like, the process that we have to go through to, first of all hear your petitions, clearly, but in addition, related to the dam and the river restoration, there are numerous activities going on, on all fronts.”

“When we get to a point where information is available … that requires us to have certain public hearings and we’ll be bringing in the public for comment on any of the data we have on the table at that time,” he said.

The board is going to try to provide more information to residents, taxpayers and voters “to understand the view from 15,000 feet, of where we have to go and how we’re going to get there.”

Hopefully that will answer questions and open up dialog, he said.

Barb Ohland of Camden asked the Select Board to send a different question on the dam to voters.

She thanked the board for tackling the issue of the Megunticook River and read proposed language of a warrant article:

“As part of the restoration of the Megunticook River, do you favor the Select Board accepting grant funds on behalf of the town to reduce flooding and facilitate fish passage at the outlet of the river, including the removal of the Montgomery Dam.”

Barbara Ohland of Camden hopes the Select Board will consider putting a question to voters about removal of Montgomery Dam. Photo by Susan Mustapich

Falciani said “the charter requires us to address any such petition. When you’re ready please send an email with the petition language and we can get you on an agenda so we can discuss it in more detail.”

Nina Holland asked the board to consider staging heavy equipment and fill for streets, sidewalk and drainage projects somewhere else besides the former tannery property on Washington Street.

She commented on “horrendous banging noises” beginning around 7 a.m. and the unsightly appearance as showing “disrespect to the neighborhood.” She asked if the Board is going to address future use of the property, as it promised to do in August.

Ray Williamson, owner of Maine Windjammer Cruises, asked the Board to reconsider a decision made at the Oct. 5 meeting to revoke the daysailer for his boat the Sally. He was not present at that meeting, and he asked the matter be taken up when he had the opportunity to provide additional information and respond.

Note: The date Gross sent a request in writing to the Select Board to add an item to their Oct. 19 meeting agenda has been corrected to Oct. 14. A previous version reported the wrong date, due to inaccurate information provided to the reporter.