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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Townshend Lake To Re-Open For Swimming

A popular southern Vermont swimming spot is expected to reopen this summer for the first time since Tropical Storm Irene.

Townshend Lake was declared off-limits to swimmers last season because of large quantities of silt deposited by the August, 2011, storm. Officials said the soft sediment posed a safety hazard and reduced the lake’s depth to a few feet.

But the Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the swimming area, plans to have it dredged within the next few weeks.

Dale Berkness is the project manager for the lake, which is situated above a flood-control dam on the West River.

Berkness says the dam will gradually release enough water to drain the lake prior to the dredging, which will be done by a contractor.

“Basically,” Berkness says, “We’re just lowering the pool down so it’s actually kind of being done in the dry. It’s not being dredged with water there. And we should be able to get in there with equipment and pull the sediment out.”

Berkness says, weather permitting, the project will take a few weeks. Then, after some water quality sampling, the lake should be open for swimming.

Susan Keese was VPR's southern Vermont reporter, based at the VPR studio in Manchester at Burr & Burton Academy. After many years as a print journalist and magazine writer, Susan started producing stories for VPR in 2002. From 2007-2009, she worked as a producer, helping to launch the noontime show Vermont Edition. Susan has won numerous journalism awards, including two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for her reporting on VPR. She wrote a column for the Sunday Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. Her work has appeared in Vermont Life, the Boston Globe Magazine, The New York Times and other publications, as well as on NPR.
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