LETTER: SNC Lavalin report on Balfour Ferry dissected

From reader H. Andrusak...

Re: Residents pack Kootenay Lake Ferry meeting

I have reviewed the SNC Lavalin technical feasibility report for moving the Balfour ferry terminal to Queens Bay.

The company gives the impression that equal weighting was applied to all four options discussed. However, it has failed to provide a balanced analysis of the four options.

Where is the comparison between older bathymetric surveys with the new one to demonstrate the lake outlet area is infilling?

I note that one of the two sites claimed to be too shallow is on the north side of the current channel marker and is not used by the ferry, so this analysis is flawed. No analysis is provided on the cost of keeping the water level higher during the early spring rather than taking the narrow engineering solution of simply dredging. Dredging would have huge implications for all water users on the West Arm and provide the impetus for BC Hydro to take another look at the Grohman Narrows folly.

I agree with a previous writer that the relocation issue is driven by hydro interests to push water through at a faster rate. Is dredging being discussed as part of renegotiating the Columbia Treaty?

Certainly our American friends would like to see this happen. Kootenay Lake has endured enough ecological impacts in the last century without tinkering around with the West Arm yet again.

Another example of the lack of objectivity in the report is the estimation of reduced travel time. The Queens Bay north option is described as having favourable rapid loading and unloading features that are touted as time savers. However, the report describes two lanes loading and unloading in an effort to rationalize this option, but no mention is made of the equivalent need to have two lanes at the Kootenay Bay landing. So I guess it’s okay to hurry people on and off at Queens Bay, but not at Kootenay Bay? There is no cost assigned for Kootenay Bay landing modifications, thus skewing the cost analysis.

Clearly the intention is to infill the entire public beach areas currently used by local residents and encroach into the lake. Government has some pencil work to do on this issue as the Queens Bay north terminal description is too vague and the cost estimate too speculative.

Also, readers should note that the current Osprey ferry goes off line for maintenance a few weeks each year, yet no cost is assigned despite the report stating only one ferry is required. I acknowledge SNC Lavalin cautions their report is preliminary with some good information, but I suspect they were guided to a certain conclusion by those who have little vision or concern for local interests.

In my view a great deal more work is required before any balanced decision can be considered. Most people who have moved to live in and around Kootenay Lake chose to do so for life style reasons that include a slower pace and enjoyment of the natural beauty that the lake is famous for. Perhaps a referendum is in order?

H. Andrusak

Nelson

Just Posted

BREAKING: Ammonia leak shuts down Nelson Curling Club

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Four points for Fawcett as Leafs win 7th straight

Nelson edged the Fernie Ghostriders 4-3

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Sanchez leads Leafs to 6th straight win

Nelson held off Spokane 3-2 on Friday

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read