Waterfront Development Project likely to be completed in early July, but could finish sooner
Tim Brody - Editor
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout’s Waterfront Development Project at Farlinger Park (the town beach) may be complete as early as June 21, but will more than likely be completed in early July, according to Municipal Manager of Development Services, Jody Brinkman.
The Municipality shared with The Bulletin in March that the project, at that time, was scheduled to be completed at the end of May.
“Lack of labour on site and delays in getting materials due to COVID,” resulted in the delay Brinkman shared.
Asked to provide an overview of the project, Brinkman shared, “There will be three structures – the Administration building with washrooms, the stage which will double as a covered picnic area and the kayak kiosk. Which will house kayaks that can be rented out. There will be two concrete pads with water, sewer and electrical services for food trucks. A small fabric covered shelter for community BBQ’s or other events. A traditional play area and a nature play area. An exterior shower, ramps down to the beach and large boardwalk. Large field for events and farmer’s markets. As well, the new docks.”
A biosparging system, being paid for by CN Rail, is now up and running the Municipality shared.
“Leaks were found when they first pressure tested which affected their ability to start operating the system earlier this year,” Brinkman informed.
Brinkman provided the following background in his report to council at their August 22, 2019 meeting, “In 1987 a large diesel fuel (LNAPL – Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid) storage tank on CN property across the road from the Town Beach caught fire and released approximately 1,500,000 L of LNAPL. Some of which was burnt or infiltrated into the ground. An LNAPL recovery system was installed onsite in 1996 and was operated until 2008 due to minimal recovery amounts. In total approximately 600,000 litres of LNAPL was recovered. The Municipality has been working with CN and their environmental consultants, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Northwest Health Unit (NWHU) and Pinchin (Pinchin Ltd, one of Canada’s largest environmental, engineering, building science, and health and safety consulting firms) – the Municipal environmental
At a public meeting held in 2018, those in attendance were told the sheen, which sometimes can be seen floating on the water at the town beach and which has resulted in beach closures in the past, is biogenic in nature and can occur when bacteria grows on iron from minerals.
“The iron content in the ground is higher in this area, partly due to conditions that allow more iron to dissolve from minerals. This condition is contributed to by the breakdown of the petroleum spill up gradient from the beach,” literature handed out by CN at the meeting informed, further adding, “biogenic sheen occurs when the soil is both rich in iron and low in oxygen.”
It was further stated by CN’s consultants, and in the literature they provided the public, the biogenic sheen and iron discolouration were not harmful to people.
Biosprarging, the remediation method proposed by CN’s consultants, was presented to the community at the public meeting in 2018.
CN shared through literature presented to the public, that the technique, “Injects air into the groundwater to increase the levels of dissolved oxygen in the groundwater, which will help prevent the biogenic sheen from forming.”
Asked about any recent testing of the water at the town beach, Brinkman informed, “Testing was done this spring at the beach and we are awaiting final results. Ground water testing happens regularly through the series of monitoring wells located onsite.”
Speaking to the cost of the project, Municipal CAO Michelle Larose informed, “The project costs exceeded the overall budget by approximately one million dollars, thus cuts were made in an attempt to bring the costs closer to the original budget. The cuts made brought the project deficit to approximately $600K. Council passed a resolution at the June 3, 2020 Special Council meeting to finance the excess costs through the portion of the Municipal Accommodation Tax collected and retained by the Municipality.
The rest of the project’s funding breaks down as follows:
- Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation - $1,000,000
- FedNor - $1,000,000
- Original Municipal contribution - $898,000 to be paid through long term debt
“After much planning and some delays to the project, the Municipality is very excited to see the project finally coming to fruition. Once again, the community will be able to come together to enjoy the new amenities that the waterfront project has to offer; a place to gather; a place of peaceful enjoyment; a place for family and friends,” Larose concluded.