Welles­ley ap­proves drainage im­prove­ments at Manser Road and Schum­mer Line

The Woolwich Observer - - FRONT PAGE - FAISAL ALI

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.

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