November 30, 2023

Seekonk Select Board Votes to Remove Dam


The Seekonk Select Board voted to remove the dam at the former site of the Attleboro Dye Works, situated next to the former Attleboro Dyeing and Finishing site off Maple Avenue.

“The dam right now does not serve any purpose,” said Dave Cabral, the Department of Public Works Director.

Cabral noted the condition of the dam had been evaluated as poor. The cost of repairing the dam was $1.8 million. Removing the dam entirely will cost $1 million.

The Office of Dam Safety is requiring either rehabilitation or removal.

“I think the natural waterway is pretty much what it is,” Chairman Michael Healy said at the board’s September 13 meeting. ‘That site is not going to be redeveloped for industrial use.”

The 105,000-square-foot building on the site caught fire on May 1, 2012. The property consists of three parcels, including the dam and three industrial settling ponds, and abuts the Ten Mile River. Asbestos was found in samples taken from the burned building debris. There were also reports mixed and discharged metals and petroleum waste had seeped into settling ponds. Twelve metal drums containing hazardous waste were removed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency in the fall of 2016.

The following year, the Town was successful in securing $450,000 grants from both the MassDevelopment and U.S. EPA Brownfields programs to complete assessment activities over a three year period. In 2019, the Town pursued a tax-taking of the abandoned site to facilitate cleanup efforts. According to Town Administrator Shawn Cadime: “In 2021, the Town was awarded an additional $750,000 in grant funding from state and federal partners to remediate all three contaminated wastewater lagoons, moving the Town one step closer toward site development and revitalization of the Baker’s Corner neighborhood.”

Last June, Sage Winter, a landscape architect for Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. (GPI), told the Select Board that removing the dam would result in a more channelized riverbed as well as the development of a pathway along the water.


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