At Tuesday’s, March 29th session of Perth council, the topic of the Rocky Ramps rose out of the water once again. The ramps were installed in the Tay River starting in 2015 in an attempt to divert more water to the small man-made canal known as the Little Tay. The lower flows in the summer through this channel were creating a weed bed accompanied by obnoxious odours. Recent drought conditions have exacerbated the problem, raising calls to modify the ramps. At the March 15th committee of the whole meeting, councilors heard from Parks Canada and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority staff who explained why the watershed that feeds the Tay River was unable to create sufficient flows in the summer with low rainfalls. Staff presented their proposal to modify the ramps at a cost of $149K but stressed they could not guarantee any results.
Council was set to vote on whether or not to approve the repairs when Councilor Barry Smith raised the issue of a current lawsuit against the town from a waterfront property owner claiming their Riparian rights had been violated. As Smith explained, these rights protect views and water-flows among other things for landowners with water frontage. No further details were released and council agreed to defer any further discussion on the matter until legal advice could be reviewed in a future closed-door meeting.