CAMDEN — A group of residents calling themselves the “Save the Dam Falls Committee” said they turned in 21 pages of petition signatures representing more than 500 registered voters on Feb. 22 at the town office.

As a result of their efforts, Camden voters will likely face the question at the June 14 town meeting, “Shall the Town of Camden protect, preserve, maintain, and repair the existing Montgomery Dam near Harbor Park in Camden?”

Members of the group gathered for a photo with a banner in front of the town office Thursday, Feb. 24.

“The purpose of this petition is to prevent the destruction or removal of Montgomery Dam,” committee member Ray Andresen said in a press release. “…We contend that the Montgomery Dam does not need to be destroyed for the purpose of flood mitigation or fish passage on the Megunticook River.”

Residents and town officials have been debating the issue for some time. The town has the opportunity to use grant funding to carry out river restoration projects that may include removing some of the dams.

Concerns about the current situation on the river include flooding as water levels rise due to climate change, fish passage, and the need for town employees to maintain and operate the dams to control water levels.

Another group called “Restore Megunticook” has informed the Select Board they also intend to gather signatures for a petition to put a competing and contradictory question on the town meeting warrant.

Their proposed town meeting question reads: “As part of the restoration of the Megunticook River, do you favor the Select Board proceeding with activities such as seeking grant funding on behalf of the town to improve river water quality, reduce flood risk and facilitate fish passage at the outlet of the river, including the removal of the Montgomery Dam, to allow for a natural waterfall?”

Town officials and the town attorney will research what happens if both question pass, or what the options are to prevent residents approving two conflicting town meeting questions.

Meanwhile both groups have been making their case to the citizens of Camden, who will ultimately vote on the issue.

“Most people in Camden have been appalled, dumbfounded, and deeply offended by the idea of destroying our waterfall,” Save the Dam Falls Committee member Ken Gross said in the press release.

Meanwhile, the opposing citizen group dismisses Save the Dam Falls as a “special interest group” only interested in one portion of the river.

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