Billings to meet with hydro generation station company on low lake level concerns

KAGAWONG—A meeting will take place within the week between Billings council members, Oakville Enterprises Corp. and the stakeholder ministries to discuss the township’s and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s concerns as to what can be done to make changes in the way the local hydro generating station has been operated on Lake Kagawong.

As has been reported previously, Billings Township council and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) are calling on Oakville Enterprises Corp. to make changes in the way it has operated the hydro generating station on Lake Kagawong and indicated the company has not been in compliance in several areas with the Kagawong River Water Management Plan, which has caused alarmingly low lake levels.

While the issue was discussed again at a council meeting last week as to what the township can do, with no clear mandate coming from the council on how it wanted to handle the issue, Councillor Brian Parker told the Recorder on Tuesday, “a request for a meeting has been made in writing to the company for a meeting and they have responded in favour.”

The meeting will include two members of council, Brian Parker (standing member of the Lake Kagawong Water Advisory Committee) and deputy mayor Sharon Alkenbrack, along with Oakville Enterprises Corp., the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

“We will be presenting our points of concern relative to the operations of Oakville Enterprises Corp. in relation to the dam and the turbine operation that has caused concerns due to low water in the lake and fish and their habitat below the water surface,” said Councillor Parker.

Along with concerns raised by local residents to the low water levels, the MNRF had forwarded a letter to Billings council that it had sent to Oakville Enterprises outlining its concerns with the operations and the low water levels and the company having been out of compliance with the Kagawong River Management Plan this summer.