Sackville’s newest outdoor sculpture is now standing 15 feet tall beside the Lorne Street flood control pond ready to record the winds and divert the rain.
Installation of the $25,000 cattail weathervane, called The Chignecto Balance, coincides with town council’s renewed commitment at its meeting on Monday to seek federal and provincial funding for Phase III of the Lorne Street flood control project.
If the town’s application is successful, the $5.2 million third phase would include two additional retention ponds, one in the old Pickard quarry near Mount Allison University and another behind the community gardens.
Plans call for stormwater from all three ponds to be diverted through pipes and ditches across the industrial park for discharge at low tide into the Tantramar River via a new, double-hung aboiteau that the town is hoping the province will install beside its main sewage lagoons.
The town’s share of Phase III would be about $1.3 million.
One in 100 year storm
During Monday’s council meeting, Town Engineer Dwayne Acton said the first two phases — installation of new stormwater pipes under Lorne Street and construction of the 40,000 cubic metre retention pond next to St. James — helped keep the town dry during several big storms.
But he cautioned that a third phase is still needed.
“I must say, we have not even seen anything close to the one-in-one-hundred year storm which the whole project was designed for,” Acton warned.
“We’re looking to complete the project with Phase III to ensure that the one-in-one-hundred year storm, we have the capacity to deal with that water when it comes, not if, but when it comes.”
CAO Jamie Burke echoed Acton’s warning.
“The retention pond on St. James Street only provides us with 40,000 cubic metres of storage,” Burke said. “We know that we’re 60,000 cubic metres short.”
He added it’s important for the town to seek the funds now for Phase III well in advance of the major sewage lagoon upgrades that will be required in the coming years.
“We need to strike while the iron’s hot,” Burke said. “The province has let us know that the money is there and they’re accepting applications, so hence that’s why we’ve tried to move this along as quickly as possible.”