Park deserves enhancement

NANAIMO: Re: City plans to remove two century-old dams, Nov. 1.

To the Editor,

Re: City plans to remove two century-old dams, Nov. 1.

As I understand it, city council received an engineer’s report in 2010 saying that if the dams at Colliery Dam Park fail, about a dozen people on the flood plain would die.

Since then, developers have built numerous high-density housing units on that same flood plain – which was also farmland.

In 2012, council received another engineer’s report saying several hundred people would die if the dams fail.

All of a sudden council is so worried that survivors will sue the city, that it has decided to tear down the dams and return Colliery Dam Park to its “natural state” of 100 years ago. Is the dam at Morrell Lake next to go?

In recent years, council allowed developers to build on the south side of Colliery Dam Park, and because there wasn’t enough water to service the area, installed a pipe criss-crossing the park from Nanaimo Lakes Road to Harewood Mines Road at taxpayers’ expense.

Since taxpayers picked up the tab for supplying water to new housing developments beside the park, let developers pay for reinforcing the dams, ensuring safety for people living in their developments on the flood plain.

Council should immediately stop further development on the flood plain, and make land owners either farm the remaining land or lease it to someone who will.

Colliery Dam Park is an inner-city nature refuge. It provides swimming and fishing holes, cycling and walking trails and freshly oxygenated air – despite the Nanaimo Parkway cutting through it – for anyone wanting a nature break or simply too poor to afford vacations away.

Enhance it, don’t destroy it.

Christel Martin

Nanaimo