RM of Lajord awaiting estimate on Oyama dam repairs

·2 min read

Everybody seems to know Oyama Dam on Manybone Creek near Kronau is leaking. The hard part appears to be figuring out how to fix it, or whether it’s even worth it to bother.

“For council, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a money-based decision,” RM of Lajord reeve Armond Gervais said.

The dam at Oyama Park was initially a Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration in 1947, and rebuilt in 1948. Since then, it has stood providing a local reservoir. Oyama Regional Park was established near the site in the late 1960s which, along with the reservoir, provided a summer recreation hub within the RM of Lajord for many years, before it was converted to a semi-private campground.

With the end of the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation program at the federal level, the question of who is actually responsible for repairing the dam remains unanswered, though it appears the RM of Lajord is the one who will have to address the leaky dam.

In the end, the cost, and available grant money, will likely dictate whether the dam gets fixed, left alone, or dismantled to prevent a blowout. Any overflow water eventually runs into Wascana Creek. At this point, the RM of Lajord has yet to make any decisions on what it will do.

“To be honest, there aren’t a lot from the community that use it — nearly everybody who is camping there is from the city,” Gervais said. “For us, if (the damage assessors) come back at us and say they can fix it for $500,000, we’re probably going to fix it. If they come back and say it’s $5 million, it’s probably not going to get fixed. Where are we going to come up with $5 million? The park can still stay there and people can camp there.”

Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum