Town Engineer: Sackville ‘lucky’ to avoid spring flooding

Town Engineer Dwayne Acton

Town Engineer Dwayne Acton says that although the new storm drainage system installed under Lorne Street worked well during heavy rains this spring, Sackville was still lucky to escape flooding.

“We were a bit nervous because some of the rains we had, the water was right at the top of those ditches,” Acton said referring to ditches on the east side of Lorne Street.

During an interview after last night’s Town Council meeting, Acton said about 50 to 75 millimetres of rain fell in town during recent downpours.

“When we get over 100 millimetres of rain in a short period of time, we would be in trouble down on Lorne Street,” he said.

“The (new) system did work well, it got the water through Lorne to the major drainage ditch on the back side of Lorne, but we really need to push through with Phase II so that we have more area to store the volume of water…and then get it out to a new constructed aboiteau.”

Phase I of the flood control project, which cost $5.9 million, included the reconstruction of Lorne Street as well as replacement of water, sewer lines and storm drainage systems.

Phase II, which will cost $2.9 million, involves building two large ponds to receive water that runs down to Lorne Street from the old quarry and other elevated areas during heavy rains.

One pond will be built south of St. James Street and another larger one will be constructed behind the community gardens. The project will also involve building a new aboiteau that would discharge the water from pond number two to the Tantramar River as the tide recedes.

Sign for Phase II of the Lorne St. flood control project

As they did for Phase I, the federal and provincial governments will pay 75 per cent of the cost of Phase II.

Acton says the town received environmental approval for Phase II last week, but will have to delay working on the project until after the bird nesting season ends around September 1.

He says the project should be fully completed by next spring or early summer.

“Phase II is a must to be able to give us areas to store the capacity of water that we need,” he said.

Town audit

At its meeting last night, Sackville Town Council heard that the town ended 2017 with a $51,291 surplus in its General Operating Fund and a $9,330 surplus in its Water and Sewer Utilities Fund.

Auditor Andrew Boudreau also highlighted a significant reduction in debt. He said long-term debt fell by just over a million dollars last year from $14,777,000 in 2016 to $13,750,000 in 2017.

“It’s going in the right direction,” he said. “You did a lot of capital projects this year, there was a lot of money spent, but the debt didn’t go up, it actually went down.”

Treasurer Michael Beal explained that every department exceeded its revenue projections while ending the year either on or under budget. He said this enabled the town to complete its share of Phase I of the Lorne Street project without any borrowing.

Infrastructure funds from the federal and provincial governments also enabled the town to increase the value of its capital assets by more than $4.5 million from $49,142,859 in 2016 to $53,707,666 in 2017.

Town Council is expected to formally approve the audit at its meeting next week. Until then, the full audit will not be made public. To read a summary of highlights compiled by the Treasurer, click here.

Boxing Club

Boxing Club at 203 York Street

Town Planner Lori Bickford told council that the Bob Edgett Memorial Boxing Club has requested the rezoning of its property at 203 York Street near Crossman Road so that it can build a new club that would be slightly larger than its present one which, after more than a half century of use, is beyond repair.

Bickford said the Club lacks bathrooms and storage areas. It can connect to town water lines, but would need to rely on a private sewer system.

The area is currently zoned urban residential and in order for the Club to be rebuilt, the property would need to be rezoned for institutional use.

Bickford said she will be bringing a resolution forward to allow for consideration of the rezoning application at next week’s council meeting.

If council votes to consider the rezoning, the town will schedule a public hearing on the matter.

To read Bob Edgett’s obituary, click here.

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4 Responses to Town Engineer: Sackville ‘lucky’ to avoid spring flooding

  1. Rima Azar says:

    Thank you for this article. This seems like double good news for our town: The Phase 1-new system of Lorne Street seems to work well (even without testing it with more than 100 millimetres of rain). Plus, the town audit indicates a surplus for Sackville.

    Is there a reason why the full audit is not made public until the next Town Council meeting?

    [Answer from Bruce Wark: The audit is considered to be only a draft audit until Council formally approves it. It is possible, though unlikely, for Council to seek revisions before accepting it, so the Town has a policy of not releasing it until it is formally approved.]

    This being said, I am confused (and curious :)): Did the Town of Sackville already receive the funding from the provincial and federal governments for Phase 2? In an earlier report in the New Wark Times, the Phase 1 and 2 grants are listed among the grants of 2016 (in a PDF link within the article of July 11, 2017) . However, in an article signed by Ms. Katie Tower in the Sackville Tribune on April 25th, 2018 (online), it is reported that the grants for Phase 2 were awarded in February, 2017. Yet in the current article, the future tense is used whilst referring to payment of the 75 percent of the costs of Phase 2 by the provincial and federal governments.

    Will a change (or no change?) of Government affect the release of Phase 2 funds (if the grant is promised but not released to Sackville yet)? I cannot help not to wonder to myself.

    [Answer from Bruce Wark: The money for both projects is part of an agreement among all three levels of government. The federal share of both projects is 50%, while the province and town will each pay 25%. As I understand it, the money flows to fund the projects as various parts of them are completed and invoices are submitted for the work done. It’s part of the Clean Water and Waste Water Fund administered by the federal dept. called Infrastructure Canada.]

  2. Kata List Productions says:

    Some where in the archives here was commentary that seemed sensible … a good bit of information from the knowledgeable Percy Best who explained that the problem was draining the water away effectively not building more ponds to hold water… too bad so much common sense is lost on a generation of people living in a world run by technocrats… I see nothing but ponds in the future for Sackvillians… hence I think they should rebrand / rename the place Pondville…they do ponds. and more is coming.. something about that pond up in the quarry being an important thing for them to invest more money into… imagine that?

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