MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The almost 200-year-old Hankins Pond Dam has been a mainstay in the Pleasant Mount community for as long as residents can remember. Now the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission plans to tear a portion of the dam down, but officials in Wayne County have started a petition hoping to save the dam.
The Hankins Pond Dam was built in the early 1800s as part of the Delaware and Hudson Canal system.
"A historical relic from a prior era, actually prior to the American Industrial Revolution. This structure was built by hand; it's laid-up stone," says Wayne County Commissioner Wendell Kay.
But the State Department of Environmental Protection considers the dam in the Pleasant Mount area a hazard and says it needs to either be repaired or removed.
Engineers at the Fish and Boat Commission tell Newswatch 16 tearing a portion of it down would be the cheapest way to prevent any damage downstream should the dam ever break.
Officials in Wayne County, hope the Fish and Boat Commission will come up with a different plan.
"Takes away from the entire magnificence of the structure itself," adds Kay. "Breaching it in the way they want to is really going to take away from that."
Folks who live across the street from the dam tell Newswatch 16 they don't want to see the dam go. It's a part of the township's identity and when you think about all the work that went into building the dam it would be a shame to tear it down.
"It's withheld a couple hundred years and for them to be able to do that and for this to hold up is just amazing," says Colleen Richner who lives across the street from the dam.
Colleen has lived across from the dam for 14 years and does not think the dam poses any threat to her home.
"Because it's never been an issue and it's always done what it's supposed to do, it's held the water back," adds Richner.