Decision on dams about compromise

NANAIMO – Re: Disconnect grows over Colliery dams, Letters, June 27.

To the Editor,

Re: Disconnect grows over Colliery dams, Letters, June 27.

There has been much passionate discussion regarding the ‘saving’ of the Colliery Dam Park dams to the point that it has become confusing.

For several years the city has been considering what to do with the deteriorating lower and middle dams and after several studies and a public safety directive from the province, it was decided in camera last October to comply with the directive, remove the dams and restore the lake areas to a natural state.

Presumably council selected the least cost option based on information at the time.

At the Dec. 17, 2012  meeting it was decided to further study options of dam replacement and rehabilitation.

Then at the May 13 meeting, council voted the dams should be replaced even though this would incur additional costs. The only difference was in the timing of the demolition and replacement work.

There are no doubt better consultative processes to manage public projects and perhaps it is not too late to initiate a more inclusive process for the future of the park.

However, in the meantime, while the dams have not been ‘saved,’ the lakes will be retained.

Experts and non-experts may disagree on the best way to accomplish the work, but democracy is by its nature a compromise.

Fred Kardel