Mayor Travale hopes to meet with MNR Minister Orazietti about Silver Lake

save-silver-lake-logo4Mayor Dennis Travale hopes to meet with Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti this month to talk about Misner Dam.
The mayor plans to ask Mr. Orazietti to permit Norfolk County to “repair” the historic dam on the Lynn River in Port Dover.
A consultant’s report this spring is expected to state whether the dam can be repaired to the state it was in before the dam was lowered as a safety precaution in December 2009.
If repairs are possible, Mayor Travale hopes Mr. Orazietti will authorize the work.
The move would override provincial law that would require the dam to be rebuilt and expanded to withstand a superstorm.
This long-term solution has been estimated to cost more than $10 million.
The MNR twice rejected as incomplete the county’s application for permission to repair the dam.
The ministry and county recently joined forces to look at short-term actions to reduce risk of the dam collapsing.
Mayor Travale hopes to talk to Mr. Orazietti at a municipal conference in Toronto in three weeks.
“It’s my ambition … to repair the structure, not to build a $10-million superstructure to control a flood,” Mayor Travale told county councillors on Jan. 28.
If a consultant’s report, expected in March or April, says the dam is repairable, Norfolk will need the minister’s permission to do the work, the mayor added.
Misner Dam was not built for flood control so why has the county been forced into a “bureaucratic morass” to get permission to make repairs, the mayor asked.
Port Dover Coun. John Wells said in an interview that a recent letter from Mr. Orazietti encouraged him.
The letter said the MNR “will continue to work with the County of Norfolk as they work to address the potential safety risks associated with the dam.”
It shows the dam is not forgotten, Coun. Wells said.
“We just want to repair the dam and that’s it,” he said.
Asked about a long-term solution for the dam, Coun. Wells replied, “We’ll take one victory at a time.”

Posted: February 5, 2014