Contract awarded for McLean Mill dam repair

After a long wait the repairs to the Alberni's McLean Mill tailing pond and dam are set to start.

  • Mar. 2, 2014 5:00 p.m.

Port Alberni city council awarded the $204,000 contract to do the work to B Berry Enterprises. The cost was half of what the city originally estimated. The balance of the work will be underwritten with a federal grant obtained by West Coast Aquatic, and with by city taxpayers.

In October 2013, Federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea gave $249,965 to WCA for the repair of Kitsuksis Fishway.

The work hasn’t been approved by the province, which ordered the dam be replaced when the berm was found weakened.

The dam is built across Kitsuksis Creek at McLean Mill. It creates a pond for log storage below the mill; the pond is also used as a reservoir for firemen to drawn on in the event of a fire at the mill.

The dam was identified for retrofit in 2009 after safety issues including water overtopping, mill pond sediment, wood rot in the fish ladder and poor equipment condition.

Two options were recommended to deal with the problem: modifying the existing dam or building a new bypass channel.

Option two was recommended by the project consultant and supported by stakeholders.

Work on the creek is important, Kenny said. Coun. Hira Chopra asked if the plan satisfied the government.

Kenny replied that the project consultant reviewed the necessary documentation and was satisfied that it met the necessary requirements.