ORCA Chief Administrator Dan Marinigh presented an Addendum to the Environmental Study Report for the Millbrook Dam Project at the Council meeting on November 30th. In it is confirmation of the preference of Construction Option C, which meets the primary objective of satisfying the safety legislation and also addressing the most important community issues. The project has just completed the mandatory public consultation period with minimal feedback, which Marinigh interpreted as satisfaction with the proposal. The timeline for the project is long, but there is progress. The revised report will be presented at ORCA’s December 17th Board Meeting, and they expect to receive notice or the project approval by early March. The next 18 months will be spent on the design of the dam, with a Request For Proposals expected to be issued in March to engineering firms to provide detailed designs which will then required approvals before actual construction can begin. Marinigh cautioned that the construction will not begin for 2 years.
The only discussion around the project centred on the amount of sediment that will be removed for the project and how that expense would be distributed. The current project budget of $3.3 million includes some sediment removal to the west of the dam to allow for the new dam construction, but the water level in many parts of the pond is only inches deep. The exact amount of sediment removal that will be covered in this original budget will not be clearly understood until the completion of the detailed design. Mariningh did mention that during the construction, water would be removed from sections of the pond at different times which could provide the opportunity to remove additional sediment at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible. Mayor McFadden asked about the township’s role in cost over-runs for the project, but Marinigh explained that this $3.3 million budget includes a 25% contingency for budget over runs. In addition, the project team will include members of township staff who will be involved in the project on an ongoing basis, and ORCA intends to continue to engage the community where ever possible on issues such as esthetics.