PORT DOVER – Residents calling for the rebirth of Silver Lake gathered at Misner Dam in Port Dover Wednesday morning to try to prevent more stop-logs from being pulled out of the structure.
About 100 people arrived at the site at 8 a.m., but by then the county had already removed a log – which will help the lake drain further – and had left the scene.
“We believe they got tipped off” and got there before the crowd arrived, said Tim Rodger, a Port Dover resident who helped organize the demonstration.
Rodger called the event “peaceful.”
But it is another sign tensions are ratcheting up in the town over the loss of the inland lake, which at one time hosted a rowing club and acted as the centrepiece to the adjoining Lions Park.
Town hall pulled the plug on Silver Lake a few years ago after an engineer studied the 19th Century dam and reported it had deteriorated to the point where it might not be able to withstand the pressure of holding back the lake.
Elected officials have said they’re willing to do something and have approved $1 million to repair the dam.
Council got stopped in its tracks, however, after the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources studied the site and said it would only approve a brand-new $10 million structure that could handle a major flood.
Since then, residents have lobbied council to do something to bring back the body of water, an important recreational site in their town used for concerts, weddings, and other public events.