City Engineer Mokles Rahman


They called it a quick over view of the Five Year Capital Budget and yet, it took over three hours to complete.

Moose Jaw City Councillors are now into Capital Budget talks at City Hall.  Currently there are over $100 million worth of projects to complete over the next five years such as road repairs, park upgrades, water and sewer work along with installing a new CRP dam.

The dam was already scheduled for replacement but was severely damaged by the ice and flooding last spring.  While the project has been moved up in the budget, City Engineer Mokles Rahman says they project has been delayed. "We're hoping that we can start this fall but that seems to be optimistic because if we don't get all of the regulatory approval then the detailed design work can not be started."

A fish ladder is the major stumbling block right now.  It's a structure that would allow fish to swim past the dam safely and move upstream. The federal government is making it a requirement but it is expected to cost $1 million.  The city argues there are few fish in the Moose Jaw River right now and the ones that are there are already being blocked because the other three dams up and down stream don't have fish ladders.

Rahman says the federal government is adamant that a fish ladder be included saying that if the other dams need to be replaced, then they will also need to have fish ladders incorporated into the design.  The move to allow fish to pass safely needs to start somewhere and Mokles says Ottawa is pushing for this project to be the starting point.

"It was originally estimated that the project cost was $4.6 million but now adding the fish passage has escalated the price to an estimated $6.8 million to build the project."

While Rahman hopes construction will start this fall, it's more likely that construction will be delayed until 2013 while the city continues to meet with the federal and provincial governments to iron out the requirements of the new dam.