Monday, August 23, 2010

Proposed Hydropower Generation at the Weir

Saskatoon is entering an exciting time. Not only is the City of Saskatoon’s electrical utility – Saskatoon Light & Power – exploring the possibility of building a hydropower plant at the Weir, the Province is considering a one-of-a-kind Whitewater Park at the site. The hydropower project would provide green power to our community and an additional source of revenue to help offset property taxes, while the whitewater project would add recreational and tourism opportunities. The construction of these projects, as well as a proposed pedestrian bridge across the river, will enhance the Weir’s reputation as a unique “people place” in our city, and offer many new and exciting opportunities to enjoy.

Although the two projects could be built separately, the chance to build them at the same time and share construction costs would mean savings for both projects. The proposed projects have just undergone pre-feasibility engineering and environmental studies. These studies were presented to the community in the form of public open houses in June. Saskatoon Light & Power is currently reviewing the feedback from these events, and later this year will present a recommendation to City Council on whether to proceed with a two year, full-feasibility study and environmental impact assessment.

A public consultation will be held in October of 2010, after which the report will be submitted to Council with a recommendation of whether or not to approve proceeding with the studies. If City Council approves the studies, further public consultations will take place at key times during the study phase, and again in 2012 once the studies have been completed. The earliest these facilities could open is 2016.

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  1. The proposed hydro / white water park project is a a great initiative for this city and province. As a young entrepreneur and someone who would like to help build this community, I can't think of a better project that combines a commitment to environment through green energy with a unique source of active-lifestyle entertainment for all ages.

    Projects like this are exactly what we need. It is great to be a part of the new Saskatchewan.

  2. What a fantastic opportunity for Saskatoon and Saskatchewan!

    With the direct positive economic impact of the hydro-generation plant and the spin-off economics from the waterpark; this should be a no-brainer for the city and the province.

    The weir is in need of repair anyway, so why not create a family friendly recreation facility capable of returning tourism and recreation dollars back to the province and the businesses in Saskatoon.

    The proposed Whitewater Park would be capable of hosting world class events and we all know Saskatoon has a great reputation for hospitality with our record crowds (and hospitality dollars) at the Brier events and most recently, the World Junior Hockey Championships.

    I support this project fully and look forward to the results of the feasibility and environmental impact studies.

    Reagan D. Wildeman - Saskatoon

  3. I am biologist and I care very much about the health of this river and the wildlife in it. In terms of ecological rehabilitation of this river, although not perfect the WW/hydro project will be an unequivocal step in the right direction, despite what some are trying to claim. No one could possibly argue that, given a choice between a WW course + open chute (the wave) with fish passages built into it, and the weir structure that we have now, leaving the weir intact would be the better option. In regards to river health, the weir is an ecological disaster. The best option for river would of course be to remove the weir completely. Of no small ecological importance is that generating power from hydro will reduce carbon outputs. That it will be done using a structure that already exists and is therefore more economical to build only enhances the feasibility of it. I am opposed to the mass damming of rivers for ‘green power’. But taking these small opportunities for green development are not only a good idea, I think they are our obligation.

    I also live very close to the river and walk along its shores and play in its waters every single day. While I currently do not paddle whitewater, I do enjoy canoeing and kayaking very much, and I am sure that I would enjoy the chance to paddle the WW course and the wave. I also would enjoy being able to actually paddle through the city and keep going. I see nothing negative about allowing more people to paddle and play on and in the river, here in the centre of the largest city in the province. The impact of a few more paddlers on the ecosystem must be negligible to nil. Of course, the impact assessment will, I hope, address all of these questions.

    As far as quality of life issues for Saskatonians, urban development, local and regional business impact, I have yet to hear any valid concerns, but I hope that the economic impact assessment will do its job so we can make an informed decision. So far it seems that this project is win win win. It will unquestionably be good for the river and the environment. It will certainly be good for the recreational community. I expect that it will be very good for the local economy and business community.

    I am very interested in seeing the results of a thorough impact assessment (environmental, economic & social) for the proposed project. I would invite someone with information-based ideas to contribute more information to the discussion. I am less interested in hearing any more uninformed or misleading arguments, for or against.

  4. hey im in favor of this project, why not use the drop at the weir for hydro!!! if its a carbon neutral way of getting electricity i think its a great idea!, not to mention more consistent than wind power. and the water park and walk way would tie in river landing to the entire river making the river attractive from all ends of the city and a great boost to the UofS because it will be soo close to saskatoon's soon to be biggest tourest attraction! not to mention a great place to educate people on water safety and respect for the eco system!!

    love the idea


  5. I must voice my opposition to this project, at least from involvement by the municipal government. If a private company wanted to risk it's own money building a whitwater park, that would be fine. I am completely against, however, my tax dollars paying for the building and maintenance of this kind of facility. Also I do not accept the arguement that such a project, even combined with a hydropower plant, would "help offset property taxes". Taxes are what pay for these projects. You will constantly be needing new tax dollars to run and maintain thses facilities. Related to this, I have grown tired of city council proudly announcing how a certain project is getting funding from both the federal and provincial goverments. All that means to me as a tax payer is that I have payed for a project at least three times over. I do hope to participate in the public consultations and I will watch for any further information as City Hall releases it.

  6. This project is an opportunity that Saskatoon cannot afford to miss. I have great respect for the work the city has done in terms of our community's growth, and this project is yet another example of innovation and proactive thinking. Implementing a source of revenue while combining it with a recreational facility will prove to be an excellent idea. As a young engineer, I appreciate the amount of study that has been done thus far, and I look forward to hearing more positive developments with this project.

  7. This is such a fresh idea for the City to have. Not only is there potential to have a substantial source of green power, but we have the ability to draw in significant tourism dollars and make a destination along our beautifully - yet underused - river.

    I think the city needs to step up to the plate and embrace such a intriging idea which not only addresses a safety hazard on our river but generates revenue for the city in the long term.

    One thing is certain, the numbers add up and it would be naive to pass up this opportunity.

  8. I live across the border in Alberta. My friends and I kayak and canoe and we would travel to this whitewater park. Especially if it was constructed in such a way to have surfing competitions and kayak races, whether they be head-to-head whitewater races or slalom. I know the Canadian whitewater slalom racing community is always looking for new sites to hold regional and national events and training camps. If the site accommodated slalom clubs with a slalom course, or waves and holes for rodeo competitions, then I know people would come to use this sight from around the country. There are also many joint partnership races with the US with a youth olympics racing series every year. New whitewater racing sites are always a big hit on these tours and if the site is good, these site usually become bi-annual race tour stops.

    Of course the city would have to do a cost analysis, including all social and recreational benefits, to see if it is worth it. I think they may have already done one. If it is worth it, they should go for it. It would be cool for the youth (and those "kids" that never really grow up ;-) ) of Saskatoon to have some recreational opportunities.

  9. I love the idea of my tax dollars getting spent on a facility which will create renewable power, make the river safer, encourage the people of Saskatoon to make use of the river and live active, healthy lifestyles. And the economic spinoff to boot!
    As a small business owner, I really can't imagine a better way to spend that money.


  10. I think that whitewater parks like this are a great use of waterways and are popping up all over North America for good reason. Its a great way to promote a sport with a healthy, active lifestyle, and is a super fun, controlled way to get into river paddling. With slalom now being an olympic sport and other disciplines on their way a city like Saskatoon could really benefit from a park like this. Recently a Saskatoon junior, Thordie Petersen, placed 4th in Canada in the National Freestyle Team Trials (the 1st placed western Canadian), with a resource like this, who knows how far he and other Saskatoon paddlers could go with this sport.

  11. In 2007 the City of Saskatoon conducted public open houses regarding a stand alone whitewater park at the weir. As one city official stated, the results were outstanding, over 80% of the public were in favor of the project. No other city project had received such positive support.

    When Saskatoon Light and Power introduced the idea of combining hydro power generation with the whitewater park another round of public open houses was required as the project had now changed.

    Studies indicated that the potential of "green energy" production was economically revenue positive. The facility would pay for itself in roughly 10 years and then the facility would provide millions of dollars of revenue per year back into the city coffers.

    The cost of the whitewater park, if built inconjuction with the hydro facility, was now estimated at about one third of original cost estimate.

    Hmmmm, revenue positive and cost reduction - sounds good to me.

    Then came the new round of public open houses. Somewhat different format where consultants made their pitch and then the public had the opportunity to go to each consultant and make their inquiries and then submit their written comments. What was missing was the opportunity for individuals to stand up and voice their opinions to the gallery. Give me a break, screaming and ranting versus the opportunity to pen your thoughts in a controlled and well thought out manner.

    City council, the public has given you their opinion(twice now). The overwhelming majority support this project. It's time to do what you were elected to do, carry out the wishes of the majority.

  12. Thanks for the great comments, keep them coming! Make sure you follow our posting policies, and ensure that you add your name as we do not allow anonymous posting.

  13. Such a fantastic opportunity for the city of Saskatoon. Replacing the weir with a safe alternative, that generates power, and is more ecologically sounds than the broken fish ladder currently in place seems like a no brainer.

  14. A waterpark is a huge asset to the community it resides in. I live next to the pump house tailrace in Ottawa. I use it several times a week and it is in use non-stop morning til night every day. There is even a summer camp for young paddlers. Without it I would have had no entry point into the sport.

    Waterparks are fantasitc opportunities to learn whitewater skills in a controlled and safe environment. Paddling is a great way to stay in shape. I wish this kind of thing existed when I was young.

    I sincerely hope that Saskatoon gets the same opportunity that I did!

  15. I have never visited Saskatoon, but having a whitewater park would definitely get me there! I think this is a fantastic idea. I would be bringing my family and friends to spend time in the city if there was a whitewater paddling facility to visit.

  16. Saskatoon has the opportunity to have a world class facility that generates revenue and promotes a healthy lifestyle. With all of the information provided in the preliminary study who wouldn't want such a great project to be at our very doorstep.
    City council, listen to the majority and look at the numbers. It would be irresponsible not to take this on.

  17. I think this is a fantastic proposal for the city. It should be win/win with the hydro electric revenue for the city. I can't wait to get out on the wave with my kids!

  18. I would like to see this exciting project happen in our city as it will be a good investment in improving the safety of the river, providing green power to help make Saskatoon a sustainable community and will provide an excellent recreational site that promotes non powered sports like canoeing, rafting and kayaking.

    This is a win-win project that has my full support


  19. I think that white water park is a huge step forward for Saskatoon. I am in complete support of this amazing idea.

  20. I am new to whitewater kayaking, but already know that it is a sport I intend on continuing to develop skills in. I have made multiple trips to Alberta this season already to learn and practice. It would be great to see the travel dollars put into accessing appropriate waterways for this sport stay in our own city.

  21. Darren Inglis-McQuayAugust 26, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    This is a fantastic idea! Providing green power to a city and province predominately dependent on coal and natural gas for electricity, it takes care of the dangerous weir, greatly reduces the environmental impact of the weir, creates a fair amount of profit from its electrical generation, provides a tourism draw upon a sizable white water community across North America (not to mention the community here in the greater Saskatoon area), generally adds to the showcasing of the city, and will still draw pelicans to the moving water of the two river features proposed. Where there are rapids there are fish - fish=pelicans.

  22. The entire project would be great for sport, recreation, green power and urban planning. I say go for it!

  23. I can't see how anyone in their right mind could oppose such a great opportunity for the city of Saskatoon to stand out and encourage sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. Completing an improvement project that needs to happen anyway, generating renewable energy (and hence revenue), creating a world class recreational facility and saving money on the construction in the could it get any better than that?

  24. I love the idea of both projects and fully support both the white water park and the power generation. What a great opportunity for our city!!!


  25. I love hearing people complain about tax dollars. I personally thing this is a great project for my tax dollars. I'm no kayaker and nor will I ever become one but at least I can see where my money will be going. This project is fantastic, open the river to leisure, to allow fish to come back up river, to a non carbon power production and I can go on. I mostly think this initiative will allow Saskatoons kids another oppurtnity to a varied activity. Anything to keep our youth off the streets is money well spent in my books. Plus the increse potential to have a local kid represent Canada at the olympiques or World competitions. I just heard one of Saskatoons came in fourth in Canada in kayaking. Can you imagine if he had a place to pracice like the other kids!

  26. I believe that this is a project that should require a referendum before we tear apart our riverbank and build a generating plant that creates very expensive electricity. I also want to see ALL facts on this project before we begin anything.
    Frankly, I don't want to look at a bunch of kayakers when I walk along the river- and I don't want to hear the alarm that goes off whenever there is a change in the water flow. I much prefer the pelicans and other NATURAL wildlife to people...

  27. Once again, thank you for your comments. Please remember to follow our posting policies, and ensure that you add your name as we do not allow anonymous posting.

  28. i am currently 17 years of age and i am an avid whitewater kayaking enthusiast. i recently competed in national team trials which i placed 4th overall in Canada and 1st in Western Canada. To me the idea of having a whitewater park in my home city would be a great idea. i currently have to travel 8 hours away to Alberta to train. the proposed whitewater park idea would not only provide a closer place to train but from what i have researched it sounds like it could become one of the best places to train in all of Canada which would attract a very large amount of tourism.

  29. Anonymous - while I appreciate your point of view, please don't look at this as "tearing apart our riverbank." I think a hydro facility is much more desirable than the puffs of coal polluting the atmosphere. I think it's also important to note that the weir isn't part of the natural landscape. Regarding the cost of electricity and the project the project has a quick net present value. I think it's great that our province is looking at 1) additional revenue streams and 2) diversifying our energy mix. Try not to think of it as "looking at a bunch of kayakers." Kayaking will only be about 15% of usage. Try to picture looking at a community coming together and enjoying one of the great features of this province. Hopefully you will join us.


  30. Although, not a Saskatoon resident, I think this is a fantastic initiative. You will find whitewater or slalom kayaking courses in many many cities and towns in Europe and England. They provide great recreational benefit, a small social centre, and a tourist attraction, without being overly obtrusive. Couple this with hydro power and you have a winner. I'm sure this can be done without major impact on the natural beauty and environment. Be progressive, Saskatoon and support this!
    In Ottawa, we are lucky to have a kayaking course in the centre of town, at an old pumping station, and it provides many recreational and competitive training opportunities for children, youth and adults, and is certainly an interesting observation spot for local and tourist pedestrians and cyclists.

  31. Bryan McCrea- The QE power plant has not used coal for quite sometime. Rather, it uses natural gas. I also understand that the weir is not natural. However, before we go digging anything up we need to ensure that consideration is given to all financial and environmental aspects of this project. It seems that everyone is just going full steam ahead without giving any real thought to the consequences of our actions- including whether a whitewater park is even financially feasible in a city where the river stays frozen for so long and can become so dangerous during the spring thaw.
    It just seems to me that this project is being rammed down our collective throats using our tax dollars and that the power aspect is more of a justification to build the whitewater park than it is really a means to produce viable, efficient energy.

  32. This project is a win-win. The hydro aspect provides the city with green energy, and creates revenue for the city. It takes a Saskatoon landmark that currently is dangerous, and makes it more user friendly.
    The proposed whitewater course provides Saskatchewan paddlers with a place to go closer than Alberta or Northern Saskatchewan. It will be a pull for tourism, and provide a great new and exciting way to get our youth involved in physical activity.
    This project would be a huge asset to our community. I am very much in favor of developing a project like this.

  33. Hi Sam,

    Over 70% of electricity in Saskatchewan is generated from coal-fired power stations. This is far more than the national average which is at about 25% dependency on coal.

    I absolutely agree that we should not compromise the environment and that the business case needs to check out. The numbers on the project look good, and boasts an impressive NPV and would be an additional revenue stream for years to come. The Pre-feasibility Study and Environmental Baseline Report has been published; the environment is a key design criteria. Another key design criteria is safety. As it stands now, our river is dangerous because of the weir. With this project, the river would once again be safe for people to enjoy.

    I think the above mentioned report along with the consultations that were done earlier this year show that a lot of thought is being given to this project.


  34. Bryan- If only this project provided more than token green energy it may be worth the money... If we are truly concerned with this issue shouldn't we be advocating for a project that can provide more than a miniscule amount of power? Oh but yes, that's right, it is really just an excuse for a recreational facility that can only be used for a small portion of the year too... How about getting behind a project that will be in use all year round?

  35. Hi Sam,

    I'm not sure I'd call this a "token green energy" project... the fact is any and all diversity we can add to our energy mix should be looked at. I also don't think that the hydro project is a "front" for the whitewater park. This is much more about having a unique recreation facility in the city - it's about building communities and retaining and attracting young people.

    I would be pleased to get behind other projects that can be used year round. I look forward to your suggestions.

    - Bryan

  36. Sam... The money shouldn't be a problem if the Hydro side of things is going to pay itself off in 10 to 12 years which was projected.. But lets not forget the tourism that this will generate.... The Saskatchewan River is such a key part of our city, we need to encourage ways for people to enjoy our river sustainably... The more time a person spends on the river the more likely they are to take care of it... I hope this makes sense to you...

  37. I whole heartedly support the white water park project at the weir. I think it’s a great idea for many reasons. It will improve the safety of the river and make it accessible for recreational canoeists and kayakers as well as white water paddlers. It will bring a recreational facility to our city which will encourage physical activity. It will give Saskatoon citizens an opportunity to participate in a sport which normally isn’t available in an urban environment. It will attract visitors from other provinces and possibly other countries. It is not harmful to the environment and in fact, it is helpful because it will help create power and will also improve bank stability. Lastly the cost of building the project will soon be recovered with power revenue. What is there not to like?

  38. Darren Inglis-McQuaySeptember 1, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Sam, you stated: "shouldn't we be advocating for a project that can provide more than a minuscule amount of power?" I think it is important to note that any green power is a step in the right direction. Saskatchewan needs to start weaning itself off carbon producing electricity. yes, the weir project would not produce a huge amount (500 homes?), but it would be located in the heart of Saskatoon, acting perhaps as an impetus or symbol to the public that green energy is something our province is and needs to invest more in.
    I don't really understand your fired up aggression against the white water park aspect of this project. warmer weather activities all across Canada only run from April to October, but as you know Canadians enjoy the warmer months we do have with earnest. We are a very 'outdoorsy' people. there are other activities that people enjoy in the outdoors, and this park provides one of them (and one that happens to be quite popular). the city doesn't need another sports complex, we have quite a number of excellent facilities right now, more than most cities this size in the country. there are many excellent points that have been made in regards to the recreational benefits of this project, perhaps you should review and consider some of these...

  39. It is a shock- but I know more people who are against this project than are for it. I know all the cheerleaders for the project have no problem spending taxpayer dollars on this but many of us do. I supported the attempt made by the city to land the Universiade games here in Saskatoon because I understood that the infrastructure built for this project would have long range, wide spanning uses in our community afterwards. This project only allows for a very narrow window of use- if it is such a great idea then let someone invest private dollars in it. I only have to read about what has happened to Blackstrap Mountain over the past few years to see what happens when a government decides not to continue investing tax dollars in a project that is only suitable for one short season.
    As far as green power goes, I'm not against it, but neither am I for a project which seems designed to push through a project that is a complete waste of taxpayers' money, and that seems to be getting rammed down our throats whether people like it or not.
    We need more study on this project from more sources. I would think that many supporters of the project would welcome more information as well rather than try to drown out anyone who doesn't share their vision.

    As far as outdoor activities go, we could be using taxpayer money to repair and build swimming pools around the city if we feel we must have water projects. I would like to see a few more built in areas more accessible to kids and adults who may have difficulty getting to some of the new facilities that have been built.Or how about skateboard parks?

  40. Darren Inglis-McQuaySeptember 2, 2010 at 7:20 AM

    with respect, just because we are pointing out alternative uses to your view doesn't mean we are preventing you from stating your vision. at the end of the day it is about having diverse energy options and diverse recreational options.

    this undertaking is a proposed hydroelectric project first, with a secondary thought to adding in a white water park. I understand your points about the white water park not being usable for a number of months of the year, but this is an opportunity to get a recreational facility that is unique and has other benefits aside from the recreational aspects of it. I would like to point out that many other sports offered by the city are seasonal (swimming pools, hockey) or are not necessarily affordable by many, or even used. For example, I don't play hockey and never will, and those are facilities that I won't use. does this mean we should not spend tax payers dollars on them? no. I recognize the great importance of having hockey and other facilities I and many don't use in the City.

    in the end decisions to spend tax dollars on coal-fired plants or green energy projects, skateboard parks, pools or whitewater parks is about balance. Not everyone is going to agree with where their tax dollars go on all projects, but it is up to our leaders to recognize that there are positives and negatives to each of the options - and to weight the overall benefits.

    We see great benefit to the hydro power and the water park. Its a win-win situation to promote a different way of thinking in this City.

  41. The proposed whitewater park is a fabulous way to rejuvenate the river, while providing a wonderful recreational resource. It can be a gateway for generations to the wonders of Canada's rivers and wilderness in a safe, fun environment. Whitewater paddling, what ever the craft or style, slalom to freestyle brings an opportunity to challenge oneself, to find courage, resolve, balance, strength and grace that can be taken far beyond the river bank. It is inexpensive and accessible. It builds community and provides an outlet for energy that might be expended in much less healthy ways. It is fabulous opportunity I sincerely hope is pursued to completion! I look forward to visiting and paddling your park!

    Ceilidh Snider,

  42. I lived in Saskatoon for over 25 years. The best natural feature of our "City of Bridges" is the South Saskatchewan river. I have jogged, cycled, and cross country skied along it's river banks. I paddled the swift flowing waters for many years in the Louis Riel Relay. As a member of the Saskatoon Rowing Club; I have rowed a 4 man shell on many a calm Saskatoon morning or double sculled with a friend on Friday afternoons.
    The river & it's banks are a gathering place for many events throughout the year.
    The only place that we could not paddle was north of the Mendel Art Gallery towards the weir. This part was considered to dangerous and was further restricted avery year. The authorities are saying you can play anywhere on the river except here.
    The proposed hydropower generation at the weir project would lift that restriction. The river would be open to paddlers to continue downstream. The river would be safer for everyone in this area. The other benefits of the present plan are: green power generation for Saskatoon Light & Power (revenue for the city), a pedestrian bridge that is easier to access than the railway bridge walkway, a fish ladder for fish spawning(the pelican would be happy about that feature), and a whitewater park for our young people to participate in the outdoor sport of kayaking. Our youth needs more activities to get outdoors and keep fit. Could we meet the UMEA challenge today? Do you remember? Ask the next older fit person you meet.
    I see only benefits for the citizens of Saskatoon who appreciate the beauty of our river and the people who use the river.
    We have done a good job of the River landing project to clean-up and beautify the downtown riverbank area. Let us continue and make the area around the out of date & dangerous weir a project we can be proud to pass on to future generations. This proposal has been a long time planning and will not happen again. We don't want to create another South Circle Drive Bridge project that cost the city more because we waited too long.

  43. This project sounds great, I really hope it happens.

  44. Sam

    I thought i would just point a few things relating to some of the points you have expressed. You said you would like to see our tax dollars go towards something else such as pools and skate parks. Saskatoon already has a very large amount of pools for how big our city is. we also currently just built the Shaw center which cost around 35,000,000 dollars. building another pool could easily cost this much or more whereas that money would easily pay for over half of the cost to build the whitewater park and hydro electric dam combined.

    Building new skate parks would provide the youth in Saskatoon with more opportunities for a physical lifestyle. However Building a whitewater park would attract a much wider age group to partake in a physical lifestyle and it would attract a much larger crowd.

    I currently attend high school in grade 12 and i have been approached by many people in my school asking me about the whitewater park and expressing how good of an idea it is. I would say that around 90% of the students i have talked to are in favor for the idea. the other 10% were against the plan due to the fact that they had very little knowledge about the topic and after i talked to them they has usually changed their minds and were all for it.

    Ultimately it is the youth of today that has to be for this idea as it is their generation that is going to be the ones to use the park the most. From my research and my friends we have concluded that the youth of today is highly in favor in this idea and it is now just of a matter of making their voices heard.

  45. I paddle from early April until the end of October, and so do most other paddlers I know. A sport with a season that lasts for more than half the year certainly shouldn't be trivialized or devalued. Few other sports would have seasons of that length.

    In fact last I heard our current premier was attempting to get Federal funding for a new home for our provinces football team which I believe has a season that doesn't last much more than the paddle season and is a sport that appeals to a particular group of fans interested in that sport. However, football fan or not, I believe many people in Saskatchewan can see the value of having such a facilty to support our CFL team and the added benefit of such a facility to our province in numerous ways. Similarly, that is how I see the potential in the whitewater park.

    On another point, there has been considerable time and research put into collecting information for this project from both a recreational point of view and an environmental point of view. If the research and information is not supporting your personal opinion on this project, I respect your opinion, but it doesn't mean the research hasn't been thoroughly done or that the research is wrong.

    I have seen our city spend considerable amounts of money on much less useful things.



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