The last time the license for the former American Tissue dam in Gardiner was up for renewal four decades ago, the Clean Water Act was still fairly new, and the nation’s rivers were still fairly polluted.

A group that’s working toward restoring fish passage for sea-run fish on Cobboseecontee Stream in Gardiner hope that in the next four decades the stream that was instrumental building Gardiner 260 years ago will continue to bring people to the city.

Members of Upstream are hoping the Gardiner City Council will intervene in the licensing proceedings that will go before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to make sure that its plans, captured in the Cobbossee Corridor Master Plan, and the work to improve properties along the stream are considered.

Two members of Upstream, Tina Wood and John Beane, have identified four areas for which city officials could comment — economics, community and socio-economics, recreation and ecology. At the March 1 City Council meeting, they asked the City Council to provide comments as an intervenor in the process.

On Wednesday, elected city officials are expected to review a draft of comments that have been developed. The deadline for comments is April 17.

Sherri Loon, a representative from KEI Power Management, said at the March 1 meeting the company has been working on fish passages at other dams in the state. She said state agencies can require fish passages to be built during the term of the license.

Three dams remain on Cobbosseecontee Stream. The New Mills dam impounds Pleasant Pond. The next dam downstream is the former American Tissue dam. As a run-of-the-river dam, it impounds no water, but it generates electricity. The third dam is the Gardiner Paperboard dam.

Loon said currently fish cannot get past the Gardiner Paperboard dam in their upstream migration, but Wood said Upstream is working with the Kennebec Land Trust and the Department of Marine Resources to provide passage around that dam.

The council is also expected to:

• discuss with Rep. Gay Grant, D-Gardiner, upcoming leglislation that may affect Gardiner;

• consider transferring administration of a portion of the Cobbossee Trail project to the Maine Department of Transportation;

• discuss the FY18 Public Works, Buildings and Grounds, Community and Social Services and TIF budgets.

The Gardiner City Council meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in City Council chambers in City Hall at 6 Church Street.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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