DAN CEARNS, The Standard
SCUGOG: After long discussions at two separate meetings, Scugog councillors have taken the next step with the Lake Scugog Enhancement project, endorsing the Environmental Assessment (EA) report.
The decision was made at a meeting on Monday, February 27th, and had been deferred at a meeting earlier that month.
Originally, Scugog staff had requested to be “authorized to proceed with the tendering and construction of the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project, pending confirmation of sufficient funding to cover the target fundraising amount.” However, after some hesitation from council, that recommendation was amended to require the detailed design to be brought “forward to the public and to Council for review and input prior to finalizing the detailed design for the Lake Scugog Enhancement Project.”
A Scugog Township press release states the preferred solution involves “constructing a 245 [metre] long berm including a trail and fishing platforms,” dredging 3.67 hectares of Port Perry bay to a depth of 1.8 metres, creating a “wetland at [the] Baagwating outlet with the dredged materials,” and moving some dredged materials offsite.
“The solution also includes an aquatic vegetation management plan, fisheries offset plan and post-construction monitoring,” the press release added.
Regional Councillor Ian McDougall was concerned about the potential long-term costs of the project. “I want to move cautiously as we move forward,” he said. “If we move forward on a project that’s $5 million, to put it in the context of the Uxbridge culvert, we start out at $12 [million], it tenders at $17 [million], and we end up at $27 [million]. So, the project starts out at $5 [million], tenders at $7 [million] and then we [reach] $10 or 11 [million].”
Ward 3 Councillor Robert Rock asked if the $1.5 million funding the Township received from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation for the project would be in jeopardy if councillors altered the project.
“If we change the scope, we’d have to go back to them and ask them [if they would] still put the same level of support into this new version of the project. So, it’s just an unknown at this time,” Carol Coleman, Scugog’s Director of Public Works and Infrastructure Services, responded.
At an earlier meeting, Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido raised a concern about sight line changes at the Joe Fowler Picnic Shelter due to the wetland. Ms. Coleman wrote a response to that concern in a report.
“The LSEP project will alter the view from the shoreline within the project area from views of a lake with heavy aquatic vegetation to views of a wetland area with grasses, shrubs and open water channels and pools.”
Residents will have until March 29th to make comments on the Environmental Assessment. The report is available at the Township office in Port Perry. Residents can also contact Ms. Coleman to make a comment or get further information by email at email@example.com or by phone at 905-985-7346 extension 149. There is also information available on the project online at www.scugog.ca.