Millbrook Dam: ORCA Identifies Possible Dredging Funding Source

The Millbrook Dam EA Study was filed and approved by Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) in February 2016 and they are now drafting the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Design and Contract Administration for the new Dam. Team members overseeing the project from the Authority and Township met to discuss additional funding options and how best to manage the dredging of the head pond, and concluded that including the dredging activity within the RFP would allow for better coordination of the work, easier approval of the necessary permits, and cost efficiency by including these works in a tender of the larger project.

The cost of the sediment removal was estimated in the Class EA as ranging between $450,000 to $500,000, depending on the volume of sediment removed and the haulage distance to the disposal site. A retired aggregate pit owned by the township is currently under consideration which would minimize the disposal costs of the dredged material.

Except for a small amount of dredging required in and around the dam construction area and the location of the coffer dams, the mill pond does not need to be dredged to enable the reconstruction of the Millbrook Dam. However community input received throughout the preparation of the EA Study Report expressed a desire that the size and water level of the mill pond be retained and that the depth of the mill pond be restored which requires extensive sediment removal.

Unfortunately, dredging activity is not eligible under the Small Communities Fund which is the source of the federal and provincial grants allocated to fund the dam reconstruction. ORCA has identified another program for which only Conservation Authorities are eligible which might help cover the costs of this activity. At last week’s meeting, ORCA’s board agreed to submit an application for dredging under this program, which could cover 50% of the costs, which the remaining costs split 90% to the township and 10% to ORCA, consistent with the other cost allocation formula.   At this week’s Council meeting, Council agreed to have ORCA apply for this funding on their behalf, which requires the addition of the dredging activity to the proposal to establish a cost base. If the funding is approved, the RFP will include the dredging activity which will proceed in conjunction with the entire project.


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