ELLWOOD CITY, Beaver County — The project to remove dams at Hereford Manor is complete and most of the area around the former lakes has reopened, announced state Rep. Jaret Gibbons on Friday.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission closed the property in November 2011 to breach the dams, which it said were at high risk and a danger to people and property.
The parking lot on Lake Road was to be open this weekend, but the commission asks visitors to avoid the reseeded areas until new grass can grow.
“The reopening of Hereford Manor will allow our community to once again enjoy the area as a public green space, but we must continue working to rebuild the lakes which are important to the region’s economy and quality of life,” Gibbons said in a news release.
He has introduced legislation that would use state revenue from mineral extraction leases and royalties on state land, such as Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, to repair and reconstruct high-hazard dams like those at Hereford Manor.
Gibbons hosted a hearing which found more than 120,000 licensed anglers live within 30 miles of Hereford Manor, and the average angler spends more than $600 annually on fishing.
The fish and boat commission estimates the cost of rebuilding the dams, originally constructed as part of strip-mining operations in the 1950s, is $15 million to $20 million.