Volunteers fix Hartford stream

9-3 008Taking time out of a holiday weekend and working in hot, humid and rainy conditions, a handful of volunteers made headway on the Hartford stream project Saturday.

Town Supervisor Dana Haff, Highway Superintendent Greg Brown and six other community members of various capacities came out first thing in the morning to begin the work.

The first challenge was to open and clear out the stream, Haff said, a process that was aided by the use of contractor Russell Wade’s machinery. After the clearing out is done, the next step is to reinforce the bank on the school side of the stream so it won’t erode.

On Saturday, Haff said the group had 150 tons of stone so far from the Galusha quarry. The men were chain-sawing brush, chipping branches and weed-whacking to make room for access.

“I bet the last time the stream was cleaned up was when they built Route 40,” Haff said. He said the town of Hartford and the school are collaborating well on the finances and logistics of the project.

“The youth commission does all the sports here. The school’s willing to fun 50 percent of it. We built these buildings and fields, and we need to preserve our infrastructure,” he said.

The project came after recent rains flooded the newly rebuilt fields and washed away a lot of red slate dust. Part of what the men are doing is rerouting and widening the stream so future flooding won’t cause damage to the fields.

Haff estimated at least three more weekend efforts might be needed to finish the project.

“It’s not a quick thing because it’s only done by volunteers and on weekends,” he said.

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