Cause for con­cern

Sackville Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

It isn’t the long-term so­lu­tion town of­fi­cials were hop­ing for, but the newly-re­designed flood con­trol plan for Lorne Street will help man­age storm wa­ter com­ing in, to a point.

Mayor John Higham ex­plained dur­ing a re­cent coun­cil meet­ing that even if the pro­posed plan goes ahead, Sackville will still be vul­ner­a­ble to flood­ing in that area of town.

“It’s not go­ing to solve all the prob­lems,” he said. “We know we’re still putting the lower part of the town in flood­ing dan­ger and at flood­ing risk.”

Although the town was ini­tially plan­ning for a pro­posal that in­cluded two large re­ten­tion ponds, new drainage pipes and ditches, as well as a new aboiteau struc­ture, the con­trac­tor was forced to go back to the draw­ing board a few months ago and re­jig the plan af­ter bids for the ten­ders came in more than dou­ble the pro­jected cost. The bids ranged from $5.9 mil- lion to $ 8.02 mil­lion; but only about $2.9 mil­lion in mu­nic­i­pal, pro­vin­cial and fed­eral funds has been set aside.

Higham said the new re­worked plan will serve as a short- term ap­proach that will mit­i­gate some of the flood­ing but not to the ex­tent the town had first hoped.

“It is a bud­getary sit­u­a­tion where we don’t have much choice,” said Higham in re­sponse to ques­tions from lo­cal res­i­dent Keith Carter about the project. “We have to look at what is the best thing we can do right now.”

The town’s lat­est plan will still in­volve con­struc­tion of a wa­ter re­ten­tion pond off St. James Street to hold the storm wa­ter un­til it can be flowed out with the tides. But Higham pointed out the pond is only de­signed to hold about 40,000 cu­bic me­tres of wa­ter, and a po­ten­tial 50- or 100-year rain storm could bring three or four times that within a 24-hour pe­riod.

“There is a sci­en­tific ba­sis of why there’s a need for a pond... and we can’t even, at 40,000 cu­bic me­tres, reach a third of that de­mand.”

Un­der the new plan, wa­ter will be routed from the re­ten­tion pond through ex­ist­ing ditches to cul­verts un­der the CN tracks at Cres­cent Street where it will con­nect to ditch­ing sys­tems in the marshy fields and is sent to the Tantra­mar river us­ing provin­cially-owned aboiteaux.

“What we’re do­ing now is all that we could af­ford to do with the money that is left,” said Higham.

The lat­est ten­der pack­age was is­sued Nov. 6.

The mayor said the town still hopes to even­tu­ally go ahead with its orig­i­nal plan, but that likely won’t hap­pen any­time soon with­out cost- shar­ing money from the fed­eral and pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ments.

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