Sudbury·Audio

Ramsey Lake protection study work slows to a trickle

Almost two years after getting the green light by Sudbury city council, a study on how to better protect Ramsey Lake is still treading water.

Watershed study meant to help Sudbury city council decide how to best keep pollutants out of Ramsey Lake

A study on the water quality in Sudbury's Ramsey Lake has been sitting on the launchpad for almost two years. The watershed study has been delayed with city staff working on other projects. But staff hope to hire a consultant to start work later this year. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)

Almost two years after getting the green light by Sudbury city council, a study on how to better protect Ramsey Lake is still treading water.

There was much fanfare in May 2013, when Sudbury city council unanimously voted for a watershed study of Ramsey Lake.

The goal was to determine what's getting into the lake and how to protect the city's main drinking water source.

But the study has been stalled.

City roads director David Shelsted said staff have been sidetracked by other projects, as well as helping the new council find budget cuts with the aim of freezing taxes.

"So, staff's been trying to kind of do both at once, so obviously the watershed study's been delayed,” he said.

“[It’s] still very important to the city."

Shelsted said the city hopes to hire a consultant to do the study by the end of the year, and then have the report in another year after that.

Lesley Flowers, the chair of the Greater Sudbury Watershed Alliance, understands that city staff members are pulled in all directions, “but our wish, of course, is that this be seen as a top priority, as opposed to something that keeps being moved off because other things take priority."

Flowers said she worries the delays in getting the study done will continue when it comes time to take action in protecting the city's lakes.

"We could presumably act on correcting or preventing negative impact on the lake. So, I think that is urgent."

While the study is expected to cost a few hundred thousand dollars, the solutions to the problem could run into the millions.

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