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An Update on Clair Lake (June 2010)

Dear Neighbours,

The Clair Lake Citizens Task Force met again on the evening of Thursday June 3rd, 2010. Denise McGoldrick from the City of Waterloo and Jeff Daniel, the representative from Conestoga Rovers Associates - the consultant engaged to prepare the Environmental Assessment (EA) Addendum for Reach 5 (Clair Lake) - updated us on the status of the process.

If you will recall, they have examined three alternatives - Online Lake Dredge Only, Online Lake with Enhancements, and Stream Only - and have determined that the best alternative is Online Lake with Enhancements. The enhancements will improve the stormwater retention capacity of the lake, slow the buildup of sediment in the lake and provide a better habitat which will support a healthier ecosystem. This option can be funded from the money the city has already set aside for the project.

Over the last 3 months we have been soliciting feedback from the Grand River Conservation Authority, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. At the meeting on June 3rd we were informed that, while some of these agencies would prefer the Stream Only option, they will respect the EA process and the decision it provides. Therefore the consultants are preparing a detailed design for the lake, which will be presented to council for approval at the Sept 13th meeting.

Once approval is provided there will be a 30 day period for public comment, after which the Addendum will be forwarded to the Ministry of the Environment for approval and licences for the work will have to be obtained, which will take several months. There is a restriction on work on the Lake starting every year in May, but if everything is on schedule, the dredging and improvements should begin in August 2011. I know that sounds a long way in the future, but it has been a long process and hopefully we are now on track to seeing a cleaned up and functional lake by 2012.

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Adrienne O'Neill
BSHA Treasurer and Clair Lake Community Task Force (BSHA Representative)