Request to revisit Howson Dam demolition denied

·2 min read

WINGHAM – North Huron council held another discussion about the Howson Dam in response to a letter dated May 25 from several community members, who told councillors that they believed the information provided before the decision to demolish the aging structure was “incorrect guidance.”

Mitch Wright, Andy McBride, Ralph Metcalfe and Rob Hutchison penned the letter “to correct certain statements made by council regarding the removal of the Howson Dam and to correct council’s contention that its current course of action is following the recommendation of the Howson Dam Committee of Council.”

Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip pulled the letter from the consent agenda to ask if staff was planning to respond or if they already had.

Director of Public Works Jamie McCarthy responded that there had been several emails back and forth with the group, but if council so desired, she could respond to the most recent correspondence.

Coun. Kevin Falconer brought up the use of the Howson Dam Committee of Council name.

“The committee of council that they are referring to was dissolved, the conditions were debated in council, and a decision was made by council, who ultimately have the last say in the procedure,” he said.

Carson Lamb, North Huron’s clerk, confirmed that the committee had dissolved, which is why the letter was signed by four individuals instead of a committee of council.

The letter referred to a request last year to create a fundraising committee to save the dam, but there was no further action on the attempt to raise money after the decision to remove the dam was made by council.

“Mr. Chris Moore’s other request was that a Committee of Council be created to start the process of fundraising for the replacement of the dam and, since council has not acted on this request, fundraising activities have not started,” the letter said.

CAO Dwayne Evans concurred with McCarthy that the information that was provided to council was, in fact, correct and that the process is still ongoing for the removal of the dam, so some questions could not be answered at this time. However, when they do have the results from those ongoing studies, they will provide this information publicly.

Council decided to accept the letter for information purposes, but they will not respond or formally reopen the discussion at this time.

None of the individuals who wrote the letter were present during the council meeting to respond to questions.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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