Council decides fate of dams Monday

NANAIMO – Proponents of saving the dams at Colliery Dam Park will have to wait a few more days.

Proponents of saving the dams at Colliery Dam Park will have to wait a few more days before learning the fate of the structures they’ve been fighting to protect.

Reports by two engineering firms – one by Klohn Crippen Berger, which is doing the work, and a peer review by Hatch Ltd. – were released May 2.

Council officially received the new information on the project Monday, including cost estimates for seven different options that include various combinations of removal, rebuilding and remediation for both dams, in front of a packed Shaw Auditorium with many in the audience wearing T-shirts in support of saving the dams.

Removing both dams at a cost of $6.3 million is projected to be the least expensive option while remediating both dams with concrete reinforcement is the most expensive at $30.7 million.

Rebuilding the dams would cost an estimated $11.2 million.

Council has set aside $7 million in the 2013 budget to address the issue.

It will decide Monday (May 13) which option to proceed with.

Tomorrow (May 10), the Colliery Dam Preservation Society hosts a public meeting at 6 p.m. at John Barsby Secondary School to allow residents to voice their concerns or opinions on the issue.

Last October, the provincial Dam Safety Branch strongly recommended the city reduce the risk the dams and two lakes pose to the community in the Chase River flood plain below in the event of an earthquake or extreme rainfall event.