To the Editor,
The public decisions by five city councillors regarding the Colliery Dam Park debacle leaves me feeling disgusted and furious with myself for having voted for women and youth.
Lorne Gale, an engineer and member of the Colliery Dam Preservation Society, explained dam safety ratings are based on the number of people affected if a dam fails.
For example, in 2010, the Colliery dams were rated ‘high’ risk because 10 people might drown if the dams failed or Nanaimo had an ‘extreme weather event.’ In 2012, they were rated ‘extreme’ because suddenly 100 people might drown for the same reasons.
The dams are as solid and stable now as they were in 2010 when the risk was ‘high,’ so what’s the difference?
Development on the flood plain.
Insurance companies know rivers, dammed or not, flood, and won’t insure homes for flood damage.
Yet the City of Nanaimo allows development on the flood plain – take a look at the Official Harewood Community Plan – and uses the increasingly high dam safety rating as an excuse to gut south Nanaimo’s major and only park.
When the trees are gone, the Chase River is diverted and the November 2014 municipal election over, does anyone really believe a new council will spend money rebuilding these dams?
It’s far cheaper to push roads through and build houses in the 95 hectares surrounding the existing park than to keep ancient promises by a previous council.