Misner Dam could be repaired by end of 2018

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Misner Dam in Port Dover. (File photo)

Misner Dam in Port Dover. (File photo)


The light at the end of the tunnel for the Misner Dam project in Port Dover continues to flicker.

Norfolk public works provided a time-table this week for repairing the dam. This could clear the way for eventually restoring the Silver Lake mill pond in back of it.

Before Christmas, the public works department will submit an application to the Ministry of Natural Resources to conduct repairs under terms of the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA).

Norfolk expects to receive its permit and finalize contract details in February. A tender call will be advertised in March, with a recent memo from public works saying this is “contingent on receiving LRIA permit.”

Public works expects to recommend a contractor to council in May. Due to provincial regulations governing fish habitat and spawning seasons, the earliest possible day to begin work is July 1.

Assuming a construction period of approximately 22 weeks, repairs to crumbling aspects of the dam should be finished in November of next year.

Lee Robinson, Norfolk’s general manager of public works, recently told Norfolk council that there does not appear to be any further complications ahead.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Port Dover Coun. John Wells said he will retire from municipal politics as a happy man if the dam is finally restored before the end of the current term.

“This is great news – I hope,” Wells said. “I was almost in diapers when we first started talking about Misner Dam. If that dam gets finished by November, I will leave with a smile on my face.”

Engineering tests have determined that top sections of the 150-year-old dam are crumbling. Plans are to repair the deterioration while pinning the main structure to the bedrock beneath the Lynn River.

Norfolk County has set aside $1.1-million to repair the dam. The county does not acknowledge ownership or responsibility for the structure, which has been orphaned due to lost paperwork, but has taken an interest in its stability out of concern for public safety and the integrity of property down river.