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After years of delays, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation is moving ahead with plans to fix-up the Imperial Dam on the Saranac River in Plattsburgh including building a new fish ladder to help Atlantic Salmon get to their spawning grounds up river. The improvements and fish ladder will cost about 6-million dollars, that’s about half the cost of another plan that would build a fish ladder, but also lower the spillway, remove sediment & restore wetlands, and just a fraction of the 20-to-30 million DEC says it would cost to fully remove the dam, and tons of sediment from the river. DEC Region 5 spokesman David Winchell says the work would be finished by 2023, whereas removing the dam would take longer, require federal permits, and cost a lot more. But critics, including local fishermen with Trout Unlimited, say the dam not only blocks the salmon, but is unsafe, and creates ice jams that caused the disaster that flooded homes 2 winters ago in this mobile home park in Plattsburgh. They say removing the dam altogether is the better option. Once the dam is fixed the owners of the former mill, next to the dam, hope to team up with a start-up company that wants to invest 2-million dollars into repairing the turbines that used to power the mill to once again generate hydro-electricity that could be sold, possibly to the airport or SUNY Plattsburgh. But Trout Unlimited, and Plattsburgh Mayor Colin Read both question whether the dam is safe enough, and capable of producing power. The Mayor says both the city and Town of Plattsburgh have called for the dam to be removed. The DEC hasn’t given an actual date of when work on the project will begin.