Coun­cil sees red over Scar­let Ridge

Cou­ple fed up with un­safe flood­ing, black ice and want town to fix it

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYMELISSA JENK­INS

At the cen­tre of a con­tro­ver­sial de­bate Oct. 21 at the Car­bon­ear coun­cil meet­ing, coun­cil­lors were split re­gard­ing an is­sue with a leak from an un­der­ground spring.

Mayor Sam Slade brought up the “on­go­ing” is­sue that the spring — lo­cated in the south end of town off Sad­dle Hill — cre­ates un­safe road con­di­tions and has caused the town to in­vest more money in sand and salt dur­ing win­ter.

“Res­i­dents are hav­ing a prob­lem on Scar­let Ridge. Wa­ter is run­ning from a spring and go­ing onto our road,” Slade said. “In the win- ter­time it’s al­ways mak­ing black ice.”

He men­tioned the road is dan­ger­ous for the town’s heavy equip­ment op­er­a­tors, whose ma­chin­ery slips while plow­ing the area.

Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Works Brian O’Grady said the pub­lic works com­mit­tee had al­ready looked into the is­sue, and the re­sults showed the prop­erty was pri­vately owned. A re­port was is­sued say­ing, fix­ing the leak would not be the town’s re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Town of­fi­cials de­nied a re­quest from The Com­pass for a copy of the re­port.

Neigh­bours af­fected by spring

Eve­lyn Avery and Ai­den Nu­gent live on Scar­let Ridge.

“I have called the town ev­ery month for the past four years, since we moved here,” Avery told The Com­pass. “We just want this taken care of.”

Avery said another neigh­bour — who is cur­rently in Halifax — had flood­ing is­sues for al­most two decades from the spring.

The spring is lo­cated across the street from the cou­ple’s home and less than five me­tres from a ditch that wraps around their prop­erty. They told the town it could use the ditch to reroute the wa­ter. That has not hap­pened.

Nu­gent walked to the spring, rake in hand, and moved de­bris. The spring be­gan to flow down to­wards the road, and quickly filled up a deep pot­hole in front of Avery’s SUV. It also flooded the ground in front of the cou­ple’s garbage box.

Avery and Nu­gent are con­cerned it will even­tu­ally cause an in­jury.

“It’s not us we’re wor­ried about,” said Avery. “We have chil­dren and grand­chil­dren that visit. We want to make sure no one gets hurt, es­pe­cially when the wa­ter freezes.”

In the past two years Nu­gent had open-heart surgery and an op­er­a­tion on his knee. Both re­quired re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, which in­cluded walk­ing more fre­quently.

“We would have to call the town ( for salt and sand) ev­ery time we went out (in the win­ter). It was like a sheet of glass,” Avery said. “I felt like I was al­ways call­ing the town.”

The prop­erty where the spring is lo­cated was re­cently ac­quired by Jamie Slade. Jamie be­lieved the town was go­ing to take care of the prob­lem, and said it shouldn’t be his re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He also said coun­cil­lors who are against fix­ing the prob­lem don’t have to live on Scar­let Ridge, they don’t “deal with the ice on the road in the win­ter, and the wa­ter there all year round.”

Coun­cil­lors face off

Coun. Bill Bow­man added he heard sim­i­lar is­sues while he was cam­paign­ing.

“If any­thing can be done, I’d cer­tainly like to see it,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Ge­orge Butt Jr. said the town should look at a way of redi­rect­ing the wa­ter with­out go­ing onto the prop­erty.

Coun. Ray Noel de­fended the in­ves­ti­ga­tion done by the com­mit­tee, say­ing they had been, “very thor­ough.” Slade did not agree. “Ba­si­cally, we’re say­ing the peo­ple up there don’t mat­ter,” he ex­claimed.

Coun. David Kennedy said Slade was be­ing “un­fair.”

A heated ex­change erupted, with Kennedy telling Slade he needs to va­cate the chair when he wants to dis­cuss some­thing among coun­cil.

In the mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lor’s hand­book is­sued by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment, in the “spe­cial role of mayor” sec­tion, it states:

“The mayor has a vote like any other mem­ber of coun­cil, al­though he or she should not speak on a

Res­i­dents are hav­ing a prob­lem on Scar­let Ridge. Wa­ter is run­ning from a spring and go­ing onto our road. — Sam Slade

sub­ject un­less he or she leaves the chair.”

Slade stated he has an opin­ion on the mat­ter, and would like it rein­ves­ti­gated.

“There should be some great con­sid­er­a­tion given since it’s a big is­sue for the Town of Car­bon­ear and a prob­lem for those res­i­dents.”

Slade told The Com­pass fol­low­ing the meet­ing he stands by his words. He be­lieves in or­der to hold up his elec­tion plat­form, he must stand up for the peo­ple.

In an email to The Com­pass, Kennedy said a copy of the re­port was emailed to coun­cil­lors sev­eral days be­fore the meet­ing.

“Sam did not seek info on the is­sue be­fore­hand and went too far in his com­ments,” Kennedy wrote.

“He never seemed so con­de­scend­ing about an is­sue (be­fore). I do not mind him speak­ing about a topic and do not be­lieve he needs to leave the chair … but putting forth blame is not right, es­pe­cially from the chair in a pub­lic meet­ing.”

What’s next

Nu­gent said O’Grady was around the area Oct. 23 with another town em­ployee, check­ing out the sit­u­a­tion. He also noted there have been many town em­ploy­ees visit the area in the past sev­eral years, and noth­ing has ever been done.

“They said they weren’t go­ing to do any­thing,” Nu­gent ex­plained.

He also added the two men told him the whole area wasn’t even town prop­erty, and the neigh­bour owned the road in front of the cou­ple’s drive­way.

Jamie would like to see some­thing done im­me­di­ately, be­fore the roads freeze again.

“I think they should fix it,” he stated.

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/Spe­cial to The Com­pass

Ai­den Nu­gent lives on Scar­let Ridge in Car­bon­ear, di­rectly across from a spring dis­cussed in the town coun­cil meet­ing last week. He uses a rake to un­cover the amount of wa­ter that is run­ning onto his prop­erty and wants the town to do some­thing about it.

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