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Contractors asked to submit designs to fix up Colliery dams

Nanaimo Council has voted in favour of asking contractors to begin submitting designs and building plans to mitigate the risk posed by the dams. The vote on Monday was 4-2, with Councillors Bill Bestwick and Bill McKay opposed.

The decision followed a presentation by Peter Bullock from the engineering firm Geo Stabilization International, or GSI. Bullock says their idea revolves around using concrete mats to cover the embankment to prevent if water ever flowed over the top of the dam during a flood. He says it’s minimally-invasive and less costly compared to previously proposed options.

Bullock says GSI’s plan would cost about $3 million dollars, while the two options proposed by Golder Associates are both estimated at over $7 million.

Council’s decision to put the call out to contractors means that it’ll be up to the new council elected in November to choose a method to bring the dams up to provincial standards. Toby Seward, Nanaimo’s Manager of Social and Protective Services, says they’ll have to evaluate which will be the best option.

Council also voted to hold off on hosting a public meeting about the Colliery Dam remediation process.

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