Sackville Councillor Michael Tower says he’s still worried that illegally parked tanker trucks are endangering the town’s water supply.
During Monday’s town council meeting, he said he’s noticed an increase in the number of trucks parked in the last month along the Walker Road on-ramp on the south side of the TransCanada Highway.
Tower raised the issue during the police briefing at Monday’s council meeting after Sgt. Paul Gagné reported that the RCMP had just switched to a new electronic system of issuing traffic tickets.
Gagné explained that officers can now scan a driver’s licence through an electronic card reader to obtain up-to-date information including past offences before issuing an e-Ticket from a printer in the police vehicle.
“Before, when you wrote somebody a ticket, they may have been stopped two days ago for speeding already [and] we didn’t necessarily know about it,” Gagné said. “It helps with better decision-making about discretion and that kind of thing on the roadside because you can see if somebody got three tickets in the last three months.”
Councillor Tower asked if the new system would keep better track of police warnings to truck drivers who park illegally next to the town’s water supply.
He also wondered if the RCMP were still issuing such warnings after noticing an increase in the number of parked trucks along the highway on-ramp in the last month.
Gagné responded that warnings would not necessarily show up in the new system. He also said the illegal parking has not been “part of our briefings of late” adding that if it’s becoming more visible maybe he and Tower could discuss it privately.
When Tower first raised the issue publicly last October, he said he had done so repeatedly during RCMP council briefings that used to be held behind closed doors.
“It’s a broken record for me, you’re probably tired of hearing it,” Tower told Gagné then, “[but] if anything ever happened for this town, that’s our water supply.”
He also said during the October meeting that he had noticed an Irving truck hauling two oil tankers parked along the Walker Road highway on-ramp in spite of the four no parking signs that the province has installed there and he added that it would have been disastrous if those tankers had leaked.
Mayor Higham said at Monday’s meeting that when the town talked to the provincial department of transportation and infrastructure (DTI) about the problem, officials had dispatched staff for several consecutive days to move the truckers along.
“I’ll get in touch with DTI who did that last time,” Higham promised, adding that perhaps town staff could call the province more regularly if the illegal parking becomes more noticeable.
“It only takes that one to have the spill go and then, we’ve got a bigger problem,” Tower warned.
To read my report about what happened when Tower raised the issue in October, click here.
I wonder why our town Public Works Department does not install signage along this stretch of Exit 500 highway ramps stating the REAL reason they do NOT want anyone parking there. Simply install larger “TOWN of SACKVILLE WATERSHED AREA — POSITIVELY NO PARKING – NO STOPPING” signs complete with a listing of the amount of a substantial applicable minimum fine.
Seemingly, a simple small ‘No Parking’ sign just doesn’t do a lot of good in this day and age, especially when it is so far away from our downtown core.
If a tanker trailer developed a leak, or if a vandal ever turned on one of the massive drain valves, we would be in one hell of a mess without water for this town of ours.
When the first two lanes of the ‘new’ TCH went in, back in 1958, the initial route was to be to the west side of the our two town reservoirs, almost following the upper end of the existing road to the reservoirs, Reservoir Road, and bordering on the one hundred acre family woodlot that my father and his brother, Charles, owned.
There was such an uproar by the townspeople stating that if there ever was a tanker accident then this would ruin our only water source, that the route was then changed to the east side of the reservoirs and new land was purchased by DTI. We now have huge wells in this wellfield area servicing the town instead of relying on the reservoirs but a tanker accident would see the same repercussions and we could lose our water source.
Thank you Councillor Mike Tower for your persistence in trying to get the proper authorities to protect our drinking water.