With chronic stormwater drainage problems in the hamlets of Erskine and Red Willow, the County of Stettler has committed to reducing potential flooding within the next year.
At its regular meeting last week, county council raised the issue higher on the list of projects, with costs expected to be reduced under the expertise of the county’s new director of engineering, Rick Green, and work done by the county public works staff.
“These drainage issues have been in the plans for quite a while now, and now we want to move forward to accommodate our residents,” said Reeve Wayne Nixon.
“Now that we have our own engineer, we can do a lot of this work in-house, which will save the county a lot of money.”
Projects for both hamlets will be taken into account when council and staff draft an operating budget for 2013.
Green presented recommendations for each hamlet, in co-operation with Stantec Consulting Ltd.
To help alleviate the problem in Erskine, the report recommended the county:
— Include as part of the Erskine Concept Plan implementation program (to be prepared in 2013) an overall community servicing master plan and appropriate staging strategy to include water/sewer servicing, stormwater management, roadway upgrades, pedestrian movements, developable lands and establishment of environmental reserves for parks space and storm-water transmission and storage.
— The Erskine concept plan should be used as the basis for the master servicing plan.
— Purchase of any wetlands or establishment of drainage easements should occur as an ongoing strategy and be incorporated into any future planning. That can be an internally or externally generated planning document, with an estimated external cost of $60,000.
— Conduct localized drainage improvements, with costs estimated at $15,000, not including costs associated with land acquisition and easements.
— Continue with current maintenance activities to alleviate drainage concerns as they occur to include snow removal, pumping and ditching/berms.
— Continue with community engagement through public-information sessions, newsletters (mailings or website-based).
For the Red Willow area, Green recommends that the county:
— Establish a viable community development plan and appropriate staging strategy to include water/sewer servicing, storm-water management, roadway upgrades and establishment of environmental reserves for storm-water storage. That can be an internally or externally generated planning document, with an estimated cost of $25,000.
— Conduct localized drainage improvements, with estimated drainage at $12,000.
— Contact Alberta Transportation to discuss a lack of ditching on Highway 850 from the south to north hamlet limits and request action to have the department contain drainage from the highway within its right-of-way to appropriate outlet areas.
— Review the site-specific drainage concern in the southwest corner of the Highway 850/main street intersection with the landowner and Alberta Transportation to assess the potential for improved lot grading and establishment of ditching within the highway right-of-way.