North Huron To Apply For Work Permit For Howson Dam

(BlackburnNews.com photo)

North Huron council carried a motion Monday night to suspend the Class Environmental Assessment of the Howson Dam and move forward with an application for a work permit under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act.

Jeff Graham, president of GSS Engineering in Owen Sound, says they’ll have to do a technical analysis on the possibility of repairing the dam first.

“We don’t really know perhaps the true costs or even feasibility of that repair and until we do this analysis, we really can’t therefore fully evaluate that alternative in the [environmental assessment],” says Graham.

Graham has recommended to North Huron Council that they move forward with the application for a work permit under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act; and as for the technical analysis, until that’s completed, it’s hard to compare long term costs of repairing the dam versus removing it.

“The costs that we’ve been floated around previously is $60,000 to $80,000 but again what we really recommended to council tonight is to go out for an RFP process to accredited engineering firms and see what type of cost proposals we receive,” adds Graham.

There has been strong support from North Huron residents to repair and maintain the existing Howson dam based on input gathered at the first Public Information Centre on September 29 in Wingham.