Waterfront Preservation Assn. discuss lighthouse & Silver Lake

Port Dover lighthouse and Misner Dam were two reports of interest at Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Association’s Annual General Meeting on Nov. 28.
Sheila Whiteley tabled her report concerning the association’s interest in maintaining the iconic Port Dover lighthouse for many years to come. She refreshed the memories of how this had been ongoing since 2008 when the federal government listed 1000 lighthouses that were surplus.
In the case of Port Dover, if no organization came forward to buy and operate it, it may have been replaced by a pole with light atop it. A campaign led by the Waterfront Preservation group filled out the necessary paperwork, and other details including financial obligations.
That caused Mrs. Whiteley to state to those at the meeting in Lighthouse Festival Theatre’s Long Bar “that cost was beyond us”. However, the good news was, she stated “to the credit of (Norfolk County) Council, councillors voted unanimously to take ownership of the lighthouse”.
She admitted the lighthouse project “was a bit of a roller coaster” with its highs and lows during the governmental process, adding, “much has been accomplished, but there is much to be done”.
Association Chair Rick Misner assured the gathering, “Sheila is the one who has done much of the work”. She was accorded a round of applause.
The other high profile task of the Port Dover Waterfront Preservation Assn. is Misner Dam. Committee Chair Ron Keating gave a comprehensive report of what his group had undertaken during 2012.
His comments were generally optimistic that the Ministry of Natural Resources recently stated strong insistence that the Misner Dam can withstand a record flood may indicate that “the MNR is onside to get the dam repaired given what Hurricane Sandy has shown us”.
The key to his report can be summed up when he stated, “Norfolk County this November 6th/13th approved an updated budgetary number of $1.4 million for repair of the dam. Further, it has set itself a deadline of March 29, 2013 for providing MNR with a fully developed application for a Work Permit”.
Mr. Keating explained, “this (March) date has been chosen because County wishes to get the application in before new, possibly more onerous, MNR criteria for dam repair approvals apply. These criteria would come into force on April 1, 2013.”
Mr. Keating mentioned “we might see dam repairs underway by July 2013”.
The meeting was informed that surveyors are currently surveying Silver Lake to determine flood containment capacity of the Silver Lake basin.
Mr. Keating mentioned flood and siltation management and other Misner Dam/Silver Lake concerns that have been covered in The Maple Leaf during the past several years.
He did, however, bring up another aspect of the dam that many people understood was off the table for the time being. The subject of the proposed turbine to generate electricity being built into the dam during repairs is still on Ron Keating’s committee agenda.
The gathering was reminded of the submitted grant application for a turbine. He said the Ontario government is working out where it is going with Green Energy Projects, commenting “we are still hopeful that it will be approved”. An installed turbine would generate a cash flow for maintenance of the dam and lake for years to come.
The Annual General Meeting report informed citizens, “The Friends of Silver Lake call on all parties, and our political representatives, to rally to this cause, to call for the repair of Misner Dam and the restoration of Silver Lake”.
Ron Keating had words of praise for General Manager Kevin Lichach of Norfolk County Community Services Dept., referring to him as “hard working”.
During the election of officers, it was noted with regret the resignation of Secretary-Treasurer Marg Creighton, her term had expired, and she did not wish to seek re-election. Chair Rick Misner thanked Mrs. Creighton for her conscientious work on behalf of the association over the years. She was accorded an extended round of applause, an indication of the members’ appreciation of her work.
Acclaimed as officers for the coming term are Chair Rick Misner, and Ron Keating, Paul Lipsit, Jim Murphy.

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