More answers needed on dam removal

To the Editor,

Re: Estimates sought to rebuild dams, Jan. 3.

More answers need to be forthcoming from the city regarding the so-called necessary removal of the dams.

First, why has the process been sole-sourced to one company?

At a quote of $7 million for their plan to remove and re-vegetate, the consultants stand to make $700,000 in design fees without any competitive process.

The city staff has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and leaves some wondering if this process is typical.

Second, the city website showed a cost of $450,000 to reinforce and upgrade Westwood Lake.

Why would Colliery Park, with significantly smaller bodies of water, cost so much more?

Several engineers in the industry have stated that the dams can be reinforced and upgraded for a fraction of what the city technologist suggested it would cost to either repair or remove the dams.

The drawings and photos on the website paint a pretty picture, but the reality is that it will take decades for the forest to regenerate to its original form.

Lastly, did the city consider the social implications of removing the dam?

From what I’ve observed, many seasonal users don’t have the economic wherewithal to afford a car to drive up to the free swimming at Westwood Lake or pay for swimming in an indoor/outdoor facility.

For this reason alone, we should be reinforcing the dam out of enlightened self-interest.

Taxpayers deserve better and they deserve answers regarding the whole tendering process.

Bridget Deighton

via e-mail

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