By Jean A. Flanagan
The United States Department of Agriculture Natural
Resource Conservation Service has secured a little more than half of the $29 million price tag for the Lost River Site #16 Dam. There is also a procedure in place that prohibits additional land acquisitions until all the funding has been secured. The lack of funding availability from federal and state sources means the dam will not be built any time soon.
These facts are little consolation to the residents of the Lost River Valley who oppose the construction of the dam. They have taken the matter to federal court twice and were not successful in stopping the project.
A public meeting was held on Monday, Oct. 20 at the Moorefield Church of the Brethren. Representatives from NRCS presented a status update and responded to questions submitted in advance of the meeting. There was also a public comment period.
After a short history of the project, Bill O’Donnell, assistant State Conservationist for Programs with NRCS presented a status report. “The Potomac Valley Conservation District has purchased two parcels of land from willing sellers,” he said. “There is a motion to delay additional land acquisitions until all the funding has been secured.
“Permit applications will be submitted before the end of the year.
“The funding currently available is $10,739,000 federal money and $5,729,000 from Potomac Valley Conservation District.”