The Village of Cumberland has to do some additional preliminary design work for a new dam. File photo

Cumberland adds funds for dam design work

No. 2 dam could potentially generate surplus power for sale

Cumberland council is putting aside some additional funding to complete design work on a dam.

At the Nov. 12 meeting, council unanimously agreed to provide up to $14,000 more to finish plans for the No. 2 dam.

“There’s been an addition to the scope of work,” manager of operations Rob Crisfield told council.

He said staff have been working with a consulting and engineering firm, Tetra Tech, on the preliminary design work for the new dam. Crisfield said the No. 2 dam is part of a system of four dams connected by Cumberland Creek.

Last year, Village staff contacted Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) to find out about continued licensing for the dam. One of the issues of note for the project is current erosion.

“Any time you rebuild a dam, you’ve got to get approval from the dam safety officer,” he said.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland doing more geotech work on dam

Without giving specific directions, the Province told the Village it has to deal with the erosion issue. For the project, they have done some analysis on Cumberland Creek to look at water flow impacts.

The new funding will cover the additional work for the design as well as a summary report, including the technical memoranda for the additions to the project. The report will then go before council once complete.

One of the initial hopes for the project was for a micro-generation component, though a provincial program that could support this has been suspended for the time being.

Coun. Jesse Ketler asked whether it would be worth it for the Village to investigate private investment through “green” funds for hydro or solar projects. Crisfield responded that there could be opportunities for this relationship. He added the 0.95 megawatts that could be generated in the future would offset the power consumption for Village facilities, leaving about two-thirds of the power to generate revenue for the community.

“I think there’s some grant opportunities out there,” he told council.

As well, Crisfield said the Village’s consultant expects the BC Hydro Standing Offer Program will come back because of the utility’s need for power.

“It’s kind of a wait-and-see game right now,” he added.

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