Northampton Press

Friday, April 3, 2020

Not happy

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Council derides removal of dam

The partial removal of the historic Atlas Dam on the Hokendauqua Creek was strongly denounced at the Northampton Borough council meeting Sept. 18.

Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski Sr. branded the action as an affront to not only those who embrace the environment, but also to the community as a whole.

Lopsonzski aired his views toward the conclusion of the meeting.

"To me, what is being done to the Atlas Dam is not only sacrilegious but vindictive," Lopsonzski said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection months ago awarded the Martins-Jacoby Watershed Association a grant of nearly $500,000 for the partial removal of the dam, which in the past supplied electricity for the once sprawling Universal Atlas Cement plant.

Lopsonzski said fox, fish and various species of birds and other wildlife have been harmed by the removal of the dam.

"It's very, very sad what is happening there," Councilman Ed Pany said.

Pany has championed the dam's historic value for years, noting generations in the future will not be able to enjoy a part of history due to its removal.

The dam is located on private lands owned by the Horwith family.

Borough Manager Gene Zarayko said it is unusual that a federal agency has given historic significance to the Cementon-Northampton Bridge, but not to the more than a century old Atlas Dam.