The beauty of Barren Fork River Greenway is currently marred by debris accumulating at the dam next to Pepper Branch Park. Debris include limbs, trees, trash, and bails of hay.
“We can’t do anything about it right now,” said McMinnville Water Treatment Plant manager Ricky Morton of the blockage. “With the recent rains, the flow is just too bad. The water’s moving too fast to get a boat safely beside the dam. We use a flat-bottom boat.”
Water treated by the city at the Water Treatment Plant on Bell Street is taken from the river just prior to the dam.
Morton says Water Department employees have always cleared debris from the dam for as long as he can remember, although he is not sure when that began.
“In the past, the Water Department has always taken care of it,” he said. “However, as far as anything in writing as to whose responsibility it is, I have never seen anything. We just always have.”
The debris can be clearly seen from the walking trail side of the dam and from the lookout area.