Saturday, August 31, 2013

Jeff Solomon's Letter in Response to
School District Chair's Letter
To Forestry Minister Thomson

Mr. Jamie Brennan
Chair, School District 68

I am in receipt of the letter that was forwarded to the Honourable Steve Thomson, Nanaimo City Staff, School Board personnel and the Dam Safety Branch. In it you have expressed a concern with regard to the Colliery Dams and the decision made by the City on August 07, 2013 to cancel the tender for their removal. As our group of concerned citizens was specifically mentioned in this motion, I thought it prudent to offer some feedback. 
The motion was passed unanimously by Nanaimo City Council with the expectation that a short term risk mitigation plan be brought to council at the first available opportunity (Sept 09, 2013). It was further moved and seconded that Council continue to engage the Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Colliery Dam Preservation Society, and the public and return at the first opportunity to Council to adopt a new strategy to deal with the long term mitigation of risks associated with the dams. This motion was also carried unanimously. Finally, Council also directed Staff to provide a recommended process that outline the key steps and estimated completion dates of each step that will focus the organization on diligently addressing the life safety and property concerns that have been made known to City of Nanaimo Council and the community. This recommendation should take into consideration the commitments of City Council to thoroughly engage Snuneymuxw First Nation and the community at large as identified in the 30 day process that has recently been completed. The motion carried unanimously.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Facilitator's Report to City of Nanaimo and Snuneymuxw First Nation on Colliery Dams 30-day process.

Facilitator Katherine Gordon's August 3 2013 report — link here.

Also, here's the audio file of Katherine Gordon's summation of the July 31st stakeholder's meeting —

On Wed July 31st facilitator Katherine Gordon chaired a meeting of the SFN, the City and stakeholders including representatives of the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society. Click on the icon to link to the audio files of facilitator Gordon's summation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Update from Jeff Solomon
July 31 Dam Safety Branch Letter
Note from Ian Howat

Update: Last letter from Dam Safety Branch to Bill Sims, City of Nanaimo, Manager Water Resources link here.

Note from acting City Manager Ian Howat
We have an obligation to look at a variety of short term options, but having said that our focus is on addressing the risk to the people downstream rather than physical alterations, partly as a result of the clarity KCB has provided to us around those short term physical alteration options that have been presented to us. (siphoning/pumping/lowering the spillway/lock blocks). We are winding down our work with KCB and have no intention of conducting any new design work or look at new options until the collaborative process starts this fall.
 It is our intention from a staff perspective to recommend to Council to proceed with another engineering firm to help us move through the collaborative process that we hope to achieve for the long term mitigation strategy. But, we have to get over this immediate issue of short term mitigation and we are working hard on having a draft ready for next week to discuss with Snuneymuxw and the SCDS Committee

CDPPS is supportive of least intrusive measures regarding short term mitigation rather than any alteration to either the dams or spillways. The floodplain remains a floodplain with or w/o the dams and so any alert system in place is simply being reasonable and prudent.

Update Report from Roblyn Hunter
Letter to Acting City Manager Howat
Key Info from the Inundation Study

The saga of the Colliery Dams continues. We had an extremely lucky break with Doug White, Chief of Snuneymuxw First Nations intervening at the July 8th Council meeting. As a result we now have a different process, but we are unsure what that will look like. Ian Howat has said that the Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society will be included in the decision making as short and long term mitigation is being considered. We are now waiting for this opportunity. 

One concern we have is that we were told that the same inundation study is being re run inputting different information. Even if they were to change the standard to 1:5,000, and if they use the conceptual costs from KCB, it would be financially unacceptable to the community. We will continue to press for accountability for information, money spent on studies, and pursuing common sense methods and options.

My letter to Ian Howat with copies sent to council members and Snuneymuxw representatives

Dear Ian Howat,
Thank you for inviting us to a meeting with you this last Friday August 16th. It was encouraging to be told that your staff will be looking at all options regarding the Colliery Dams and that we will be invited to participate in that planning. We would like to re affirm that we would very much like to participate.

As per our conversation I am sending some information that you were not aware of and I believe is extremely important in going forward. First I have included the description of the software models that were used in the inundation study for the Colliery Dams for you to look over which you will find below. You will find a description of the model used for the Westwood Inundation study on page 11 of the 2004 Westwood Inundation study, under the heading Hydraulic modelling. You will quickly see the difference is the addition of 2 dimensional modelling for the Colliery dams study.

Upcoming Events and Celebrations

Save the Colliery Dams Community Potluck Picnic
August 25 —

at the Lower Colliery Dam
Fun and games for the whole family!!

Team Scavenger Hunt - bring your cellphone/camera, each team will need one for this hunt
Water Balloon Race Three Legged Race
Potato Sack Race Dock Race
Bottle Pickup Elephant March
Bocce Ball Magnetic Fishing
Musical performances The Dam Poets
Face painter

Fraternal Order of Eagles Fundraiser

WhereFraternal Order Of Eagles No. 15, 245 Fraser St., Just up the hill from Mrs. Riches..
WhenSeptember 7th 3pm to -11pm
Joseph Goldstein and the fine folks at Aerie No. 15 are going to help us raise funds and awareness. It looks like a fun time to come. We need to sell some tickets...

Admission is $15.00 (with a gourmet burger and a beer), with $9.00! going to us.
$.50 from each drink sold goes to us.
A 50/50 Draw will be held, with all money received to us..
A series of raffles will be held; proceeds going to us.

Doors open at 3pm and food will be served from 4pm, til 6;30pm. There will be a Vegan option. Thank you to Columbia Bakery for donating bread, :), and to Quality Foods for burgers and condiments.

Then raffles, the 50/50 draw, and some speeches by our people.

There will be entertainment to follow - Shawna Severinski, of Smartass Entertainment will host Karaoke.  Thank you for donating your time, Shawna !

Also, we will have a t-shirt table selling both Colliery Dam Society and Dale Schulz's custom shirts. Thank you to Dale Schulz, Miranda MadDam Burns, and Trish Kuziek.

These people are donating raffle prizes...  Thank you to:

Alberni Outpost: Two 3 Hour Kayak Rentals
Francine MacKenzie Roberts: Afghan
Jolly Miner Pub: $50.00 Certificate
Little George's Restaurant
Mid-Island Co-Op: $50.00 Gas Card
Superette Foods: $50.00 Certificate
Underground Skate

It's coming together nicely, y'all.. We just need to sell some tickets If you want tickets, call Terry at 250 667 1884...

Or, these fine businesses have kindly agreed to sell some tickets for us:
House Of Indigo, 6 Church St. 250-754-1022
The Green Store, 256 Wallace St. 250-754-2554
Superette Foods, 687 Albert St. 250-754-2554