North Frontenac Council’s regular meeting in Plevna last Thursday was a relatively quiet affair but a presentation from John Price of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority on the Shabomeka Lake dam has the potential to be an ongoing story.
The dam was built in the 1950s with rehabilitation works done in 1988 to reduce seepage. However, Ontario Hydro determined that these works were temporary as the structure did not meet the stability requirements for overturning/sliding conditions.
In 2016, an assessment was performed and recommended reconstruction of the embankment including raising the embankment and road elevation; rebuilding the control structure; adding gravel or a drainage blanket on the downstream slope; adding emergency discharge capacity.
The conservation authority is looking at three alternatives: do nothing; complete embankment and structure deconstruction and reconstruction at an estimated cost of $545,000; embankment rehabilitation and control structure reconstruction at an estimated cost of $420,000.
The conservation authority is leaning towards the third option.
Clerk Tara Mieske said that which option is chosen will be up to the conservation authority as it’s not a Council decision.
However, the matter has come up at a couple of Council meetings as a number of residents have been using the dam as a bridge of sorts to access the lake and/or cross Semicircle Creek. At one meeting in Henderson, residents proposed Council become involved to make a permanent crossing there. But the conservation authority has maintained that it can’t have the public access its control structures for liability reasons.
“My personal thoughts are we have no obligation (to provide a crossing),” said Coun. Gerry Martin, who is North Frontenac’s representative on MVCA. “Dep. Mayor Fred Perry did point out that the Township owns 66 feet on either side of the dam but the riverbed belongs to the MNR.
“If owners bought lots in the area cheap it was because there was no water access.
“It is not a Township or MVCA responsibility (and) the conservation authorities are not in the business of building dams.
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Council received the treasurer’s report on remuneration and expenses for Council and Committee of Adjustment members:
Mayor Ron Higgins received $26,552.93 including mileage and expenses ($22,820.46 salary)
Dep. Mayor Fred Perry received $22,461.99 including mileage and expenses ($19,141.46 salary)
Coun. Gerry Martin received $19,589.55 including mileage and expenses ($15,462.46 salary)
Coun. Denis Bedard received $17,935.76 including mileage and expenses ($15,462.46 salary)
Coun. Vernon Hermer received $17,623.45 including mileage and expenses ($15,462.46 salary)
Coun. Wayne Good received $16,478.93 including mileage and expenses ($15,462.46 salary)
Coun. John Inglis received $16,062.46 including mileage and expenses ($15,462.46 salary).
In addition, Committee of Adjustment members were compensated for inspections, meetings/conferences, mileage and expenses:
Chair Barbara Sproule received $755.01; Janice Arthur received $2,656.05; Carl Tooley received $1,182.03 and alternate Fred Fowler received $580.21.