Work to reverse the flow of water on a piece of farmland on Angel Road in Kenyon has riled neighbours, who argue they will suffer because of the proponent’s attempts to defy the laws of physics.
The property in question drains overland to the south towards Concession 1. The proposed change would redirect the water to the north to a municipal drain, North Glengarry Public Works Director Ryan Morton told council at its most recent meeting.
By proceeding with a study of the alterations to the watershed in the area, the township “could be opening a can of worms,” property owner Richard Burton warned council. “Water doesn’t flow uphill.”
The township has appointed Lascelles Engineering Ltd. to prepare a report on the Beaudette River ARDA Branch Municipal Drain and the Thompson Ferguson Municipal Drain, in order to make changes to the assessment schedule, which sets out individual property owners’ share of drain construction and maintenance.
No concrete action can be taken until the report has been completed, said Mr. Morton.
But Mr. Burton told the township that drainage work already began in January.
Mr. Morton pointed out that under the Drainage Act, the municipality had no authority over drainage projects. “We can’t stop the work.”
Mr. Burton acknowledged the township’s position. “Council should be aware that the property owner has already stepped beyond the line. The drainage contractor went ahead and did what he thought was right,” he related.
“It’s a swamp,” said Chloe Ann Baker, who lives directly across from the drainage work site. Amendments to the watershed “will change a lot for the homes,” she cautioned, adding that home owners will also likely end up with higher drainage bills.
Mr. Morton said, “The installation of the drainage system must be taken to "sufficient outlet" as per the Drainage Act. Due to the desire to tile drain this particular property, the outlet would change the existing watershed upon which the property is assessed and the encompassing drainage pathways. A tile drainage company surveyed the area and has recommended that all tile drainage have sufficient outlet to the Beaudette River ARDA Branch. Some surface water may still enter Thompson Ferguson Drain, but this solution is the most cost effective way to drain the property in question.”
He suggested that the municipality not reject the request.
“This alternative is not recommended as the property owner would be forced to petition for a new municipal drain to outlet the water in to the Thompson Ferguson Drain and would also involve a new report which would encompass several property owners and a multitude of additional costs.”
“All of the costs associated with this recommendation will be assessed to the property owner seeking the assessment schedule changes. The costs are expected to be an upset limit of $7,500, however unexpected issues may result in additional costs and the proponent is aware of these factors,” Mr. Morton reported.