Council will have to dig deep to cover cost of Cow Creek dredging

Cow Creek. October 19, 2020 Photo by Rob Ravensberg. Provided to Blackburn News Sarnia, on behalf of the group, by Mark Moran.

The cost of dredging Cow Creek where it drains into Lake Huron is estimated at $750,000.

Council will consider deferring the project to the 2021 budget at its meeting Monday.

A group of citizens brought the matter to council’s attention, saying a sandbar has grown into a dangerous shoal, in the area just west of St. John in the Wilderness Church in Bright’s Grove.

Cow Creek. Map courtesy of Google.

Cow Creek. Map courtesy of Google.

Mayor Mike Bradley said the estimate is very high.

“There are other issues here, besides just boaters, there’s probably impacts right now with the sediment blocking the creek entrance with other property owners further down the creek, that needs to be investigated,” said Bradley.

Staff warn the cost hasn’t been accounted for in the 10-year capital budget, and that could result in the delay or cancellation of other capital projects, or an increase in taxes, to cover the cost.

“If council decided in the capital budget they were willing to expend the $750,000, we are many months away from the solution. There’s an incredible amount of permits from federal and provincial governments that need to be obtained. You can not do work during the fish spawning season, which runs from March into the summer months. So, it won’t be an instant solution if council decides they want to proceed on this.”

The mouth of Cow Creek is protected by a double seawall that extends into Lake Huron and was originally installed by the federal government.

A preliminary investigation has estimated there could be 4,000 to 5,000 cubic metres of material that needs to be removed.