Re: Pay own dredging, letter to the editor, Feb. 22
I would like to respond to the letter by Ernie Tobin regarding dredging in the Ladner channels. He was responding to a Feb. 15th column by Corry AndersonFennell depicting the issue of float homes along our Ladner channels sitting tipped in the mud.
There are issues and facts I would like to bring forward that, if not cleared up, will leave a distorted picture of this issue:
1. Water lot leaseholders are individually responsible for keeping their own water lots clear and usable. (That is in the lease contract we each sign.)
2. What is being requested of all levels of government is to dredge the mid portion of these channels to allow for safe navigation and better water flow within these channels.
3. From a water lot owner's perspective, this deepening of the channel centre will assist us in keeping our individual lots clear of silt, as the river bottom will now be lower than the depth of water needed to float our buildings. That is not the case today as the river bottom in many cases is higher than the water lot depth.
4. Prior to 1998 these channels were dredged on a regular basis by our governments, at that time under the auspices of Canadian Coast Guard with work often performed by the federal Department of Public Works. Nothing has been done since 1998 and these channels are filling in.
5. To follow Tobin's analogy to ask these water lot owners to pay for this dredging would be akin to asking Tobin to maintain the road in front of his home, including snow removal, and to ensure the road, all the way to Highway 99, is maintained in safe and usable condition. I realize that is petty and illogical, but it clearly explains the dilemma we are facing.
6. The Corporation of Delta, Port Metro Vancouver, Ladner Sediment Group, DFO, small craft harbour, our MLA and MP, and others have recognized this need and are all working toward a solution that will hopefully correct this current imbalance.
John Roscoe Chair Ladner Sediment Group