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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stroke survivors lean on each other in Nelson

‘I’ve learned more about strokes from being in the group than I did from anyone else’

Organic waste pick-up expected by 2022 in RDCK

But there are many unanswered questions in Nelson about cost and details

Cottonwood Lake Society announces $15,000 in new funding

The Nelson Rod and Gun Club and Royal Bank of Canada have chipped in

L.V. Rogers Bombers finish second in Osoyoos basketball tournament

The seniors boys team came undone late in the final

LETTER: Gone to pot(holes)

From reader R. Johnson

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

VIDEO: Knife-wielding man arrested after barricading himself in Lower Mainland Walmart

A man had barricaded himself in the freezer section of the fish area at a Walmart in Richmond

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Higher costs should kill Trans Mountain pipeline, federal opposition says

Most recent total was $12.6 billion, much higher than a previous $7.4-billion estimate

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they’ll meet with ministers if RCMP get out

Federal minister in charge of Indigenous relations has proposed a meeting to diffuse blockades

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Most Read