Eganville – The Eganville Generation Corporation (EGC) is looking into the possibility of a new dam along the Bonnechere River, but there may be some logistical hurdles if it is approved.
This is not the first time this has been discussed but a previous application was rejected because there was not enough transmission power coming from Eganville to handle more generation. The site for the dam would be at the old grist mill site, adjacent to the lower bridge and the present site of McRae Park. EGC owns that land which is leased to the village. Volunteers built the park after the dam application was rejected. The proposed dam would go across both sides of the river where EGC owns property.
Councillor Merv Buckwald broached the topic at a committee meeting of Bonnechere Valley council last Tuesday. He pointed out it has been some time since the rejection and there has been quite a lot of upgrade work to the power lines in the ensuing years, so it might be possible for the application to be approved this time.
“I know we already have a lot of debt right now,” he noted.
“The challenge at the time was transmission,” the mayor said. “That could be different now.”
With the upgrades at Heideman’s sawmill there could be room on the line for more production, she said.
“They have been doing an awful lot of work on the lines,” Coun Buckwald said.
Councillor Brent Patrick said it is a good time to explore the possibility since Eganville is at a growth stage.
“We have natural gas coming to our area so the projected growth is there and increased hydro use,” he said.
Councillor Jack Roesner, who works as the manager at the EGC plant, pointed out the site for the dam is right where McRae Park has been developed. He said this could be a conflict.
“We can adapt the park as needed,” Coun. Patrick suggested. “We can still look into it.”
Mayor Murphy pointed out EGC owns the land on the other side of the river as well.
“You would utilize both sides of the river to dam it up,” Coun. Roesner said.
He said he would look into the possibilities and report back to council and the board.
Councillor Tim Schison, who chairs the EGC board, had earlier stated generation is increasing with the recent rainfall in the area.
“With the rain we have been getting in the last month or so it has helped improve with the generation capability and hopefully it will offset the dry spring we had,” he said.
Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader