The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection would like to begin draining Lake Beseck before Labor Day, according to Middlefield First Selectman Jon Brayshaw.
The move is necessary to begin work on fixing the 165-year-old dam, which sits at the south end of the lake and is in need of significant structural repairs.
The project, which will be paid for by the state which owns the lake and the dam, will require a 13-foot draw down of lake waters and is expected to take no less than 12-months to complete.
"At least one year, but possibly longer," Brayshaw said Monday.
The DEEP held a public meeting in November to announce their plans and to get feedback from residents. At the time, officials involved with the project said they expected the dam to be finished by Dec. 2014.
Brayshaw said he is in regular contact with the state over the project. He said officials are currently seeking a temporarily location to store the sediment removed from the earthen dam.
"They're going to form a new concrete wall on the upstream side of the existing stone wall" before putting the material back, Brayshaw said.
During Monday's discussion at the Board of Selectmen meeting, Brayshaw mentioned that engineers were interested in learning more about the dam's history, specifically previous improvements and construction.
Brayshaw brought along a photocopy of Feb. 16, 1993 article in the Middletown Press newspaper and said he hoped to locate the man whose photo accompanied article.
The man, identified as C. James Gibbons (see photo), a land-use specialist and the Cooperatve Extension educator at the Univ. of Connecticut Agricultural Extension Service in Haddam at the time of a significant draw down of Lake Beseck in the early 1990's, might be able to provide some insight, Brayshaw said.
"[The DEEP] would like to know as much as they can find out about the history of the dam," he said.