Governor Wolf Releases Over $25 Million in Capital Funding to Repair Unsafe Dams

August 17, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced $25.7 million in funding for the repair of five high-hazard, unsafe dams, and the design of two others, managed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). High-hazard, unsafe dams have deficiencies of such a nature that if not corrected and the dams were to fail, substantial property damage and a probable loss of human life could occur.

“These lakes not only offer recreational opportunities in communities, but also provide enormous economic benefits in terms of tourism,” Governor Wolf said. “Fixing dams in desperate need of repair is an important safety measure to sustain these tourist attractions for all Pennsylvanians.”

“We are so grateful to Governor Wolf for his dedication to rehabilitating this vital Commonwealth infrastructure,” PFBC Executive Director John Arway said. “With this commitment in place, our agency has a roadmap for restoring the remaining high-hazard, unsafe dams that we manage for anglers and boaters. We will work diligently to implement the plans to ensure that the lakes remain as centerpieces of local and regional recreational economies.”

Construction funding is being released for locations:

  • Donegal Lake, Westmoreland County
  • Kyle Lake, Jefferson County
  • Meadow Grounds Lake, Fulton County
  • Minsi Lake, Northampton County
  • Somerset Lake, Somerset County

Engineering design funding is being released for:

  • Belmont Lake, Wayne County
  • Lower Woods Pond, Wayne County.

The Donegal, Kyle, Minsi, and Somerset projects have all been designed and are going through the final permitting phases, with construction expected to commence in 2017.

The funding is part of a comprehensive, multi-year $53.3 million plan to leverage capital budget dollars with local contributions, other support, and Oil Company Franchise Tax (OCFT) revenues authorized by Act 89 of 2013 to design and repair 10 high-hazard, unsafe dams managed by the PFBC on behalf of the Commonwealth.

The PFBC plans to use OCFT revenues for the design and construction of Miller and White Oak ponds, and plans to use future OCFT revenues for the construction Belmont Lake and Lower Ponds Pond. OCFT revenues will also be used to remove a portion of the dam at Hankins Pond, which is no longer needed to support operations at the PFBC’s Pleasant Mount State Fish Hatchery.  All five of these projects are in Wayne County.

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