Dam repair costs don’t sound like a very good deal

We presume actual estimates and repair work will be widely tendered.

To the Editor,

Re: Council approves dam remediation process, Letters, Oct. 24.

Local newspapers are failing to provide all the information in their coverage of the Colliery dams issue. As a ratepayer, I’m concerned with the costs involved.

The only estimates of dam repair are still reported as those of Klohn Crippen Berger, the company that was expecting to do the work. It claimed it would cost about $7.5 million to knock the dams down and build new ones, but between $12 and $30 million to repair them.

Local engineers and workmen who have worked on other dams on the Chase River report total project costs of less than $500,000 each. Westwood Lake holds over three times the volume of water held by both Colliery dams. It’s also above a residential area, and a direct earthquake would have same effect or worse. It was brought up to code (presumably) three years ago for less than $500,000.

An astute business person on council might figure out when we are being had and give KBR its walking papers. We presume actual estimates and repair work will be widely tendered.

Jim ErkiletianNanaimo