Wellesley approves drainage improvements at Manser Road and Schummer Line
NINE PROPERTY OWNERS WILL pony up an average of $25,000 apiece for their share of municipal drain work approved last week by Wellesley councillors.
The rural property owners in the area of Manser Road and Schummer Line had requested the work be done, however, knowing they’d be responsible for the lion’s share of the cost.
The drainage work is projected to cost $326,000, and the majority ($227,000) to be levied back to the nine benefitting property owners, based on frontage.
The township and region are responsible for construction along the roadways, with Wellesley facing a $31,000 tab for work along Schummer Line and the Region of Waterloo responsible for $76,000 along Manser Road, which is a regional roadway.
At the August 29 meeting, staff recommended the project go ahead in response to a petition by some of the property owners, who had requested back in 2012 for the township to install new drainage for their farmlands.
Lead project engineer John Kuntze explained that the properties had been in need of proper drain outlets for years to replace defunct drainage that only covered some of the farmland. He noted that some of the property owners were having to dump the water drained from their fields into the roadside, rather than having an actual outlet.
“The expression I use is (the Ontario Drainage Act) allows for the construction of a communal drainage system on private
property. And what happens is the municipality is responsible for looking after that process and then they’re responsible for looking after this drain in the future,” said Kuntze.
The existing drainage outlet is not providing service to all of the properties that need it, he noted.
“So that outlet channel is there and the township has ... we’ve cleaned it out a couple of times under drain maintenance and stuff like that. But it only came to those properties to the east of Manser Road, and all the guys to the west of Manser Road, even though they have to pay every time the ditch is cleaned out, couldn’t get there water there.”
For the properties that did have drainage, the coverage was still haphazard.
“There was a network of drains there, but they weren’t recognized. Nobody was responsible for maintaining them ... (For one of the properties on the southeast side) there is an old tile there, but there were holes all over the place and I was there one day in the spring, the water’s all boiling out of the ... ground, and he’d have a huge lake there every spring,” said Kuntze.
Given the situation, the property owners decided to petition the township for new outlets for their properties. Kuntze added that while the property owners might benefit the most from the project, the township and region are also getting value for their investment.
“In the case of where this is being dumped into the regional road right of way, they’re not going to have this tile-water now running down their road ditches. Because these tile drains, once you install them, in a lot of case they’ll run almost 365 days of the year, so there’s always a little bit of a dribble of water coming out of them and whatever they discharge onto it keep things wet, so that’s why we’ve got to pipe all of this water down through,” he said.
“It also gives the road water somewhere to go. There’s a big chunk of Manser Road that the water runs off of it and it basically is just running out onto farmland right now, so the region has a proper outlet for the drainage of their roads. That’s why they’re assessed and are an integral part of the whole system here.”
In April, 2012, the townships appointed the engineering firm at K. Smart Associates Ltd. to prepare recommendations for township in response to a petition started by property owner David Sherk.
Kuntze, who is the president of the firm, is also the lead engineer on the drainage project.