Perth Council Chambers - Thursday Nov. 26, 1998, 7:00 p.m.
Steering Committee Members
Mike Mosher, Co-Chair
Lynn Preston, RVCA
Simon Lunn, Parks Canada
Mel and Carol Dillon
Clare Coney, Perth
Agnes Fleming, Perth
Gerry Fleming, Perth
Wm. MacPherson, Smiths Falls
Eric Devlin, Councillor, Perth
Ken Baker, Perth
Shirley Deacon, Councillor, BBS
Roger and Diane Nuttall, Otty Lake Association, Perth
Dorion and Edna Lamarche, Rideau Ferry
Judy Brown, Mayor, BBS
Stephanie Strachan, Perth Courier
Gord McConnell, Councillor, Drummond-North Elmsley Township
Dell Hallett, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority
Don Belfour, Perth
Elinore Nelson-Chatillon, Smiths Falls
Lowell Yorke, Perth P.U.C.
Bernie Gelineau, Greater Bobs and Crow Lakes Association
Bill and Carol Sullivan, Lanark
Steve Tennant, Perth
Helen Park, Perth
Ann Drennan, Perth
Ralph Fish, Perth
Colleen and Martina Flanagan, Perth
Roween Zielinski, Perth
Ormond Lee, Perth
Kate Bergin, Perth
W. George Clark, Perth
Olivier Chatillon, General Manager, OMYA Canada Inc.
Ray McCarthy, OMYA Canada, Inc.
Dr. William Tupper, Vice Chair, Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation
1. Welcome and Introductions
Mike Mosher opened the meeting and welcomed all. Mike stressed the need for community input
and commitment to such a complex, time consuming task that a watershed planning effort is. He
stated that the purpose of the meeting was to let the community know what the Interim Steering
Committee has been doing to date to bring the project along and that feedback re: the merits of
the plan are needed from the general public. He then introduced all members of the Interim
Steering Committee in attendance as well as special guests Dr. Bill Tupper of the Rideau Valley
Conservation Foundation and Mr. Olivier Chatillon of OMYA Canada.
During a brief presentation, Dr. Tupper accepted a cheque for $5,000 from Mr. Chatillon. The
donation represents the first installment of an $85,000 commitment on behalf of OMYA towards
the Tay River Watershed Planning effort. Dr. Tupper explained the difficulties faced by
conservation initiatives today and explained what an extraordinary pledge (the largest in the
RVCF history) and partnership this represents.
2. Background of the Tay River Watershed Plan
Mike then gave a brief account of the history of the project to date. He explained that the idea
stemmed from the Perth and Community Strategic Plan which was completed in 1995. Since this
time an Interim Steering Committee has met several times to move the project. He explained that
Terms of Reference (DRAFT) have been struck, presentations to 3 councils have been made a
web page has been initiated through the BBS page and partnerships have formed. He further
stated that funding for the project has been secured from the Lanark Stewardship Council,
RVCA, and OMYA and that an application for Millennium 2000 funding has been submitted.
Mike stressed that the completion of such a project can only come as a result of community effort
and commitment and stressed the need for people to come forward and volunteer their time.
3. What is Watershed Planning?
Lynn Preston, Watershed Planning Manager of the RVCA then gave a brief presentation
regarding what watershed planning is, its merits and why one might be engaged in the Tay Basin.
She described the likely watershed planning process that will be used which will see the
completion of the plan by spring of 2001.
4. What Are the Issues in the Tay River Watershed?
Lynn then engaged the group in a brainstorming session regarding what issues currently existing in the watershed (using the handout list as a starting point) that might be addressed in the watershed plan. The following are the comments heard:
Ice barrier at beaver dams in North Elmsley and the flooding it creates (at Port Elmsley below the new bridge)
Control of water levels on the system (no water between Bob's and Christie Lakes)
Dam operation of Bob's Lake dam (how is it operated, what criteria is used, why not have local operation)
Erosion caused in Christie lake caused by ice and water levels (dam control)
Look at opportunities to produce power on the river
Water Quality (Perth Sewage Treatment Plant)
Agriculture and golf course runoff (water quality) in Perth and Grant's Creek
Impacts of local industries on water quality
What are expectations of community re: impacts on environment
Cottage (and all) septic systems (degrading systems)
Ignorance of people (not knowing any better)
Impacts of landfills (migration of leachate)
Air quality (industrial - acid rain)
Impacts of farming
Why water levels drop drastically at Bob's Lake (is it a reservoir?)
Mismanagement of water levels/dams
Development of watershed for tourism - good idea or bad - to what level?
Feasibility of Fisheries enhancement program
Effects of Acid Rain (geology)
Reassessment of 100 year flood plain - relate to climate change and frequency of storms
What will happen once the plan is completed? How do we get Parks Canada to go along with the recommendations?
Is Parks Canada willing to look at new strategies?
Look at the past - How did we get here?
Siltation of Tay Canal and effects on tourism (boating)
How deal with railway/truck spills (Emergency Response)
5. Do We Need A Watershed Plan?
Mike encouraged everyone to think about what they had heard this evening regarding what a
watershed plan could or might do and the issues brought up by the attendees and to make up in
their own minds whether or not the community is on the right track by initiating this project. He
encouraged people to feed this information (and any other comments) back to the Co-Chairs.
6. Draft Terms of Reference
Lynn Preston briefly described the (Draft) Terms of Reference (handed out in the information
booklet). She encouraged any feedback anyone may have, adding that they are at a very
preliminary level and will be subject to further revisions by the Steering Committee and Round
Tables in the near future. She encouraged anyone in the group to fill out a comment sheet (in the
information package) and a volunteer sheet, if anyone would like to assist with the watershed
7. Wrap Up and What's Next
Mike wrapped up by stating that the key to the success of the watershed planning effort will be reflected in the level of community input and commitment. He encouraged any and all volunteers to come forward and assist with the project. He encouraged all in attendance to fill out a volunteer form and a comments sheet. He stated that the Interim Steering Committee will finalize the composition of the Round Table and will begin to finalize the Terms of Reference. He then thanked everyone for attending. The meeting adjourned at 8:50.