City of Greenwood given extension by province

The City of Greenwood has been given an extension (until July 13) to decide on whether or not it takes over responsibility for Providence (Marshall) Lake Dam.
The provincial government previously told Greenwood that they had to decide by the end of June.
“The province extended the deadline to July 13, and agreed to provide $50,000 towards upgrading or decommissioning,” explained Christopher Stevenson, a former Greenwood city councilor and leader of a group aiming to preserve the lake. “They’ve consistently said that they estimated a $70,000 cost to decommission. We’re pushing now for (the government) to complete the maintenance and bring the dam up to dam safety standards.”
Stevenson, who recently created an online group called the Marshall Lake Stewardship Group, to bring awareness to the issue, noted the province is also pushing costs to the city.
“They’re effectively passing costs on to us –  costs for maintenance and repairs that they have not done, and are required to do, and we are expected to cover the costs of their neglect,” he said. “Give us a dam that meets safety standards.”
Brennan Clarke, public affairs officer for Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, noted that the City of Greenwood was given a year to determine the feasibility of (the city) assuming responsibility for the dam in January 2011.
“The Providence Dam is classified as a high-consequence dam that would cause substantial economic and environmental damage and, potentially, loss of life in the event of a failure,” Clarke stated. “Providence Dam does not currently meet Provincial Dam Safety Regulations or Canadian Dam Association Standards. A dam safety review of Providence Dam, stemming from the Deputy Solicitor General’s report that followed the 2010 Testalinden Dam failure, identified a number of management concerns.”
The inspection occurred after the Testalinden dam incident near Oliver, B.C. in June 2010. The incident resulted in a debris and mud torrent that damaged a number of homes and agricultural areas.
Clarke pointed out that while the province has agreed to the extension, should it receive no response by July 13, the province will start plans to de-activate the dam.

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