The New Jersey Assembly and Senate have both unanimously approved a bill that would appropriate approximately $22.5 million in bonds to fund dam restoration projects across the state. The bill includes $700,000 to fund the restoration of the Bass Lake Dam. The Princeton-Blairstown Center applied for the funding.
The bill would allow the state to use $22,463,000 from the “dam, lake, stream, flood control, water resources and waste water treatment project bond act of 2003 for loans to owners of private dams or to municipal units that own dams to finance their restoration projects.
“There is no dam, no matter how well-constructed, that can function efficiently without proper upkeep,” said Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “These funds will enable dam owners to make repairs as appropriate and prevent further damage.”
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora said the state needs to be proactive about maintaining infrastructure. “This bill will give dam owners the means to act responsibly and keep these structures in good working condition,” he said.
The 2003 bond act included $95 million for loans to owners of private dams, as co-applicants with local government units, or to municipal units that own dams, to finance the costs of dam restoration and repair projects undertaken by, or on behalf of, the owners of dams. These funds were first appropriated for specific projects in June 2005. A subsequent appropriation of $16.95 million was made in May 2010. The bill now heads to the governor.