During the first week of December, the District of Chetwynd distributed 1440 copies of our Site C Position Paper and questionnaire to the residents of Chetwynd. Fourteen were returned.
More than one conclusion could be derived from the 1% response:
- Chetwynd residents just don’t care that much about what happens to the Peace.
- Holiday activities took priority.
- Nobody really likes to answer questionnaires.
- Wrong topic.
Somehow, I can’t reconcile with the idea that we don’t care about what happens at the proposed Site C. I believe we do care and I want you to have a second chance at sharing your thoughts with Council.
You might need a quick review of some of the details of the proposed Site C dam and reservoir:
- Earth-filled except for the generating station which will be concrete.
- The top surface of the dam will be 1050 meters long.
- Height: 60 meters.
- Generating capacity: up to 1100 MW.
- Length of reservoir: 83 km.
- Width of reservoir: 2-3 times the width of the river as it runs today except where other streams join it.
If Hydro receives the green light for construction, the project is anticipated to take up to eight years to the final site reclamation and demobilization. This is the period during which Chetwynd will be most affected in both positive and negative ways. Mayor and Council recognize that a significant impact will be borne by the District during construction stages primarily due to heavier-than-normal traffic through town.
On the positive side, hundreds of employment opportunities will be created about an hour down the road.
Council and Administration are engaged in on-going conversations with Hydro, exchanging information on the proposed project and Chetwynd’s expectations regarding the impacts that will be felt here and a continuing legacy if the dam is built.
But we need your ideas. We need to know how you think about damming the river again, about increased traffic through your town, about access to the site, about employment prospects during construction.
To facilitate your responding with your thoughts, the questionnaire has been placed on the gochetwynd.com website. Please take a few minutes to follow the easy instructions for responding.
In the meantime, I have included below the gist of the questions:
- With everything you know about the proposed Site C dam project, do you support or oppose the project?
- BC Hydro proposes to build a 34 km paved connector road from the end of the Jackfish Lake Road to the dam site. Should this road be left open to the public or closed following dam construction?
- What is your interest in recreational access and a viewpoint both during and after dam construction?
- Are you interested in employment during construction?
- What additional information would you like about the dam project?
As responsible citizens of this great northeast region of the province, the region that provides the bulk of provincial revenues, your thoughts need to be heard. Please share them with us on the District website.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor