Edmonton closes tap on 'iconic' waterfall
The Great Divide Waterfall may have splashed from High Level Bridge into the North Saskatchewan River for the final time.
The 2012 budget eliminates funding for operation or repairs.
The waterfall was shut off a few years ago when the city realized the chlorinated water may be affecting water quality in the river.
City council was told Friday the falls may never be turned back on.The city stopped using the waterfall after Environment Canada deemed the water a low level, but harmful, source of chlorine. After studying the problem, the city learned eliminating the chlorine would cost $700,000.
"There's two components here," said city spokesman Jeff Angel. "One is $35,000 for operating that would be the immediately cut, but there's approxiamately another $700,000 in capital that is not budgeted."
It would be a mistake to let a budget shortfall be only reason to close the tap on the falls, said Coun. Ben Hendersen.
"It was news to me we had given up (on the waterfall)," said Henderson.
"We keep on talking about iconic things for our city," he said. "One of the ones that's been iconic for years is the high level bridge waterfall."
After hearing the falls could not be funded as a public art project under the current policy, Henderson asked administration for a report outlining the options and challenges of reinstating the waterfall.The waterfall, designed by artist Peter Lewis, was added to the bridge in 1980 for Alberta's 75th Anniversary.
The waterfall is used on holiday weekends in the summer.