Atikokan lifts state of emergency, dam underway

After six weeks of living with a domestic water shortage, Atikokan residents can feel more at ease these days now that the state of emergency there has been lifted.
Construction on the Plateau Lake dam project also will begin soon.
“The construction has already started on the road to the future dam site,” Atikokan Mayor Dennis Brown said Monday morning.
“We hope to get the actual construction started by Oct. 5 to ensure things get done before winter sets in,” he added. “We have had several local contractors showing interest in the job.”
The project should cost $150,000-$200,000, Mayor Brown said.
“That cost includes everything, including the road now being worked on,” he noted, adding construction should take about six weeks.
Atikokan also is seeking funding from the provincial government, the mayor said.
The Plateau Lake dam project, proposed by the Municipal Control Group about a month ago, aims to provide an alternate source of water for the 4,100 residents there after the lack of rain and numerous beaver dams drastically reduced the flow of the Atikokan River and its tributaries this summer.
The state of emergency–declared Aug. 3–included a restriction on water use. While the ban was lifted Aug. 21, Atikokan remained under a state of emergency for another month in order to keep residents conscious of the situation.
“We were asking people to cut back on water use wherever they could,” Mayor Brown noted. “That worked out well, and we were able to make good of the situation.”