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Today is June 1st and contrary to what was reported by another local newspaper, it seems very unlikely that dredging and/or repair of Port Dover’s Silver Lake/Misner Dam will take place in four short weeks. Depending on which side of the issue you stand on this is either good or bad news. The environmentalists concerned with the health of our waterways and the factions concerned with county wide taxes increasing to pay for Dover’s mill pond see this as a positive- because the longer nature has to reclaim land and issue in new growth, the more expensive any development will be and thus less likely to be economically feasible. On the other hand, for those in favour of restoring the dam and dredging the mill pond for recreational use things are moving in an opposite direction.
There are a number of publicly known factors preventing any form of development- major environmental assessment is required due to years of commercial greenhouse operations, the failing structure of the dam itself which is subjected to more damage with each passing winter, a cultural assessment required by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture to document, record and study any cultural remains at the site and the need to clarify the ownership of the dam, the road and allowances and the mill pond itself. So what now? Perhaps it is time to start thinking about what can be done IF the dam is decommissioned. The Silo learned of one such initiative.
IF Silver Lake continues to fill in at its current rate, one proposal sees this area being forested and converted into a National Park. This may sound radical but it could work. We were told that Minister Diane Finley was contacted last year with such a proposal. We contacted her office and were told by an aide that ownership of the dam and mill pond is still undecided at that our requests for comment must come from Media Relations in Ottawa. We will keep you updated.
So what are the options IF the dam is decommissioned? Tell us your thoughts- send an email with DAM in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org