Letters to the Editor

City can’t seem to get dam decision right

To the Editor,

Re: Dam remediation moves forward, July 17.

The Colliery Dams Technical Committee’s objective is the development of an environmentally minimally invasive, cost- and time-effective solution.

Has this been accomplished?  In my opinion, no.

It was blatantly obvious at the July 14 city council meeting we are taking a trip down roads well-travelled with certain councillors blindly following senior staff’s recommendation towards the most invasive, most costly and most environmentally invasive option available.

At the meeting an alternative option for overtopping was mentioned. Staff stated that they had heard from the company making the proposal what their projected costs would be but in the same breath said nothing regarding the amount being put forward.  Why?

Will council now entertain this newer option or will those that have been pushing hard first to remove and now for the highest-cost remediation option again simply follow recommendations of senior staff?

Gordon W. Fuller


To the Editor,

Re: Dam remediation moves forward, July 17.

As far as I know, no risk assessment associated with water overtopping the dams was ever made. The risk assessment that reduced the rating from ‘extreme’ to ‘very high’ analyzed the likelihood of a catastrophic failure of the structure in the event of an extreme tectonic event. Another study would have to be done to provide us with some insight into the risks associated with an extreme inundation event.

It is quite possible that once the analysis of risk is complete, then the hazard rating of the dams could be reduced again. It would be foolish to proceed with a remediation of the dams without an accurate understanding of the risks.

Dan Appell


To the Editor,

Re: Committee divided over dam options, July 15.

Now that it has been proven that the Colliery dams will not collapse in an earthquake, unlike most of the rest of Nanaimo, city council is adamant that millions must be spent to guard against a deluge of Biblical proportions.

Their two options – dramatically deepening and widening the drainage canal or turning the dam into a concrete weir will both cost many millions.

They refuse to utilize a much cheaper, proven option that would include matting the exposed surface of the lower dam at far less than half the price of the two promoted options.

By law, council is bound by fiduciary responsibility to utilize proven, applicable methods in city projects at the cheapest possible price. Degrading the park environment while wasting millions of dollars proves certain councilors are unfit to sit on council.

Dave Cutts
via e-mail

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