Recent Items – 2004-2005
By Gary Rusak, Daily News Staff
If at first you don’t succeed …
That was the credo of the Swan Lake Enhancement Society when they approached city council for a $10,000 grant for the second straight year.
“We were really counting on this $10,000 last year for the creek rehabilitation project,” said Allen Watson, president of the society. Last year, council denied the conservation group’s request for money for various reasons, including timing.
“What we ended up doing is really rattling the bushes with alternate financing,” Watson said. “The end result is that we used up some of the money that we needed for our 2005 project.”
The society, which was founded to protect the body of water just outside of Tomslake, plans on purchasing two automated gates to regulate water flow into Swan Lake.
“Our major project for 2005 includes two automated gates at the weir down at the provincial park,” said Watson. “It gives us a quicker response time to fluctuating water levels. If you get a heavy rain in the summertime according to the water license, we have a maximum amount of water. Now, if we get a heavy rain we have to go down there and physically remove logs by hand. So, we hope with the gates we will be able to maintain an optimal water level.”
Ken Sargent, a member of the society, said the gates would do a great deal towards improving the water quality of the lake.
“The automatic gates would help keep the high water away,” he said. “But also in the spring we would be able to catch water to maintain the lake at a certain level. Eventually if everything goes well, we can have the lake at the same water level year-round instead of fluctuating, which is better for the fish population.”
Council agreed to debate the request during budget discussions scheduled for the new year. Two councillors did compliment the society on its work.
“I want to thank the group for what they bring to the city,” said Coun. Alvin Stedel.
Coun. Paul Gevatkoff echoed Stedel’s comments and recognized Swan Lake as a valuable resource for the community.
“It we allow a recreational resource to fill in — that would be an absolute shame,” he said.
After the meeting, Sargent said that the $10,000 grant would be an important first step in the ongoing process of maintaining Swan Lake.
“Let’s face it there isn’t much around here for lakes,” he said. “This lake is always going to have to have maintenance. If there isn’t a group that maintains it we are going to lose it. It’s not like a lake down in the interior where it’s crystal blue and 150 feet (deep). It’s 27 feet deep and if we don’t watch it will be 10 feet.”