Inspectors taking close look at new Scales Pond berm

Potential problem revealed during inspection

Colin MacLean
Published on August 26, 2014

A couple of men check out the newly rebuilt Scales Pond. A recent inspection of the property revealed a potential problem with the new berm so inspectors are taking a close look at the new infrastructure in the area. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer

SOUTH FREETOWN – Scales Pond may have largely recovered from the devastation Mother Nature wrought on it in 2009, but the site isn’t completely out of the woods yet.

A routine inspection earlier this summer of the new infrastructure in the park, the fish ladder, dam and berm, revealed a potential structural problem.

Mait MacIsaac, chairman of the International Children’s Memorial Place, which has a long-term lease on the land around the pond, said Monday that they are still trying to determine exactly what the problem is, but should know more next week.

Water levels in the pond have been lowered to allow for the architect and contractors to examine the new structure, with special attention being paid to the berm, he said.

“The report that we have is that we need to examine it (the berm) further and we may have to make some modifications. That’s all it is. Natural thing when you build something like that,” said MacIsaac.

In terms of the severity of the problem, he said, the information his board has been given by the experts is that there is no danger to the structure.

“It’s not like it’s going to fall down, let’s put it that way,” he said.

Scales Pond has had a tumultuous few years.

In 2009 a glut of ice burst the old dam and berm, sending a torrent of ice, water and silt down the meandering little Dunk River.

The breach devastated the area.

It took years of fundraising and countless volunteer hours by the Dunk River Enhancement Committee, the Children’s Memorial Place board of directors and other community volunteers, but a renewed Scales Pond park development was completed in the spring of 2014.

The new park has walking trails, a rebuilt fish ladder, berm and dam, interpretive signage, benches, picnic tables and fishing outlooks.

In total, about $600,000 in public and private funds were spent to rebuild the site.

It has become a popular place for locals and visitors to picnic, fish and walk. There’s a great deal of community interest in the wellbeing of the property, something MacIsaac said he’s well aware of.

Every precaution is being taken to ensure its future, he said.

“There’s no (other) place on the Island like this … It’s a beautiful part of this part of the country,” he said.