Nanaimo looks at Colliery options

NANAIMO – City meeting on Colliery dams and remediation options has been postponed.

Alternative options to address the Colliery dams will be considered by Nanaimo city officials.

Nanaimo city council decided to hold off on a public meeting on the Colliery dams and its remediation options to pursue requests for proposals, including from the firm GSI.

In July the City of Nanaimo released options and cost estimates to address flood risk at the lower Colliery dam, which highlighted two measures: overtopping for $7.2 million or increasing the size of the spillway for $8.1 million.

Engineers advised that doing nothing to the structures wasn’t an option and a third solution – an alternative overtopping proposed by the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society and GSI – would require additional evaluation and costs.

Park preservation society members, however, have maintained that the alternative measure would be less intrusive and cheaper at less than $3 million.

On Monday, Coun. Fred Pattje made the motion to see a meeting on the dams put on ice while research was done on the GSI option – and others – included in a seven-step request for qualification and request for proposal process.

The work would cost an estimated $200,000 to $400,000, and take up to four months to do, according to a city report. City staff say a decision must be made by Christmas to facilitate remediation work next summer.