EMSDALE – The Township of Perry is making a $100,000 investment into a dam project within the township as part of the small hydro project at Brook’s Falls on Deer Lake Road.
According to a draft proposal by Waterpower Group, the township will receive lease payments from the developer, royalties, a return on investment based on their $100,000 commitment, and a number of park enhancements.
The proposed project would see the installation of a floating weir at the top of the falls and a small generating station at the bottom. A penstock would be installed but buried along the river and hidden from view.
A royalty of about $10,000 per annum will be paid for the use of the property.
“There will be no affect on the water flow during the day,” said Dunn.
The $100,000 investment will give the township 4.5 per cent ownership with a 9.4 per cent rate of return for 40 years.
“Part of the project will build a bridge across the river. We have about 70 acres on the other side of the river that we cannot access,” said Mayor John Dunn. “That will give us access to the other side of the river with the intent of walking trails and biking trails.”
No motorized vehicles will be permitted.
According to the proposal, the footbridge across to the north shore on park property will require an extended penstock and proportional cost increase of about $50,000 with the cost of the bridge included in the project costs and funded through project debt and equity.
The type and route of 1 km of hiking trails will be defined through input from the township and local residents through public consultations with an estimated cost of $10,000.
Another park enhancement measure is the installation of three view point park benches and two animal proof garbage disposal bins and interpretive signage for natural habitat and water-to-power/water management aspects.
“It seems to be a win-win for everyone,” Dunn said after the vote to invest was carried.
Dunn says for all intents and purposes, the township is investing the money that Waterpower Group will be paying them.
“Every year they are going to pay us almost as much as they’re going to give us back,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer I think at $100,000.”
Dunn adds that it is also a good investment from a municipal perspective.
“It is energy efficient water with no visual affect during the daytime at all,” he said.