WAYNE — First you hear sound of the falls.

Then you see the water, placid on one side and then falling on the other side of the town-owned North Wayne Dam.

The impound at the top of the dam is used for swimming, with a tiny ribbon of sand running between the grass and the water on each side. Boats are moored further upstream toward Lovejoy Pond, and purple spike flowers rise from pond plants. Below the dam, the water spills onto large rocks and flows around a tiny island.

Water flows also through the dam in spots, and that’s the rub. The 1800s-era structure, which once powered the North Wayne Tool Company, is scheduled for a rehab.

Wayne selectmen authorized the town manager to close the public swimming area as of Wednesday so those repairs can begin, according to Selectman Carroll Paradis.

“We need to fix it before it gets worse,” he said.

The area is a favorite swimming spot for children in Wayne and Fayette, and there’s a wooden bench on the shore as well as a white pipe where the Wayne Fire Department trucks can load up on water when needed.

T. Buck Construction of Auburn is expected to being the work shortly after that, according to Amy Bernard, town manager. Completion is expected this fall.

The rehab will require installation of a coffer dam upstream, Bernard said, to block the water from coming over while repairs are under way.

Bernard said the stop logs are almost 30 years old and need replacement, archways that formerly housed turbines need regrouting, and some trees must be removed because their root systems are growing under the dam, Bernard said.

The repair cost is estimated at $130,000, with Fayette kicking in $25,000 and Readfield $15,000.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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