More than 75 people packed the room for the Harbour East – Marine Drive Community Council Meeting this evening to hear a presentation on daylighting Dartmouth’s Sawmill River.
Walter Regan of the Sackville Rivers Association and Jocelyne Rankin of the Ecology Action Centre made a solid case for the benefits of bringing the buried watercourse to light.
Their 10-minute slide presentation covered the history of the river from its early days as a travelway for the Mi’kmaq people to its diversion to an underground pipe after Hurricane Beth in 1971. It also outlined the many economic, ecological and community-building benefits of bringing this hidden treasure back to light.
The information and show of community support hit the mark: Councillor McCluskey made a motion to have a staff report on the feasibility of daylighting the river, including commentary from Halifax Water and a full financial accounting.
The motion was unanimously approved!
A few thoughts from the councillors:
There’s obviously a lot of support for this, and I think it would be a wonderful idea. – Councillor McCluskey
I don’t want people to think I’m not supporting the idea, but people also have to recognize that there are monetary pressures. – Councillor Nicoll
There’s an opportunity for creative thinking around this project. Imagine a skating surface by the Starr manufacturing site. -Councillor Hendsbee
I can say that I support this in principle without any reservation, but let’s do due diligence and get a full financial accounting. – Councillor Karsten