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TBM would like to talk frazil ice with provincial officials

Town has video recorded by a drone showing frazil ice trouble spots on the Beaver River it would like to show the province
The Town of The Blue Mountains has experienced flooding caused by frazil ice on the Beaver River in Clarksburg.

The Town of The Blue Mountains would like to talk to the provincial government about frazil ice.

At its committee of the whole meeting on May 21, council approved a resolution to make six requests to meet with various provincial ministries at the Association of Municipalities conference in Ottawa in August.

In a report about the delegation requests, CAO Shawn Everitt had a meeting with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on frazil ice at the top of the list.

Everitt’s list of recommendations for meeting requests also include:

  • Ministry of Infrastructure on the impacts and concerns relating to Inflow and Infiltration into municipal wastewater treatment systems.
  • Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to highlight concerns relating to the Blue Box Transitioning Program particularly relating to the commercial stream of recycling.
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing relating the variety of impacts being experienced by the town.

Council approved the CAO’s list and added two more town requests to the list of requests for meetings with provincial ministers. Including:

  • Ministry of Transportation to discuss Highway 26 and other local transportation issues.
  • Ministry of Long-Term Care to discuss the status of the Campus of Care project.

Frazil ice is a condition that can block waterways and flood low lying areas. The town has had experience with flooding from frazil ice in Clarksburg in recent years.

Everitt said at one time both the province and the local conservation authority would be involved with frazil ice, but over time it has become a town issue.

“We’re the last one standing in efforts to monitor frazil ice,” he said.

To reduce the problem, the town pays to have the water level in the Thornbury mill pond lowered to increase water flow in the Beaver River. This is a significant cost to the town as the lower pond level means the electricity generating station at the Thornbury Dam can’t generate as much power.

The town also maintains heavy equipment in their fleet used to de-clog the river in the event that frazil ice forms and causes problems.

As part of their efforts to mitigate the issue, the town has used drones to film the Beaver River during the winter months and Everitt said this has led to the town compiling “incredible video footage.”

The CAO said the video shows areas along the river where work could be done to reduce frazil ice and lower the likelihood of flooding up river and he suggested a presentation to the ministry of the video would be helpful.

“This could have the potential for good sharing of information,” he said.

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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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