The town of Sackville is getting $4 million from the federal and provincial governments to complete Phase III of the Lorne Street flood control project.
The federal and provincial contributions represent almost 75% of the total cost of the $5.5 million project. The town will contribute the remaining $1.5 million.
At its next meeting on Monday, Sackville Town Council will be asked to give Mayor Mesheau authorization to sign the funding agreement. Council will also be asked to approve hiring the Moncton firm Englobe (formally Crandall Engineering) to go ahead with the engineering and design of the project.
Finally, council will be asked to approve buying the old Sackville quarry from Mount Allison University for $1.
Phase III of the Lorne Street project would include digging a 40,000 cubic metre freshwater retention pond behind the community gardens on Charles Street as well as constructing a smaller one (20,000 cubic metres) in the old quarry.
When combined with the 40,000 cubic metre retention pond that was dug east of Lorne Street and south of St. James during Phase II of the project, the town will have the capacity to store 100,000 cubic metres of freshwater, believed to be enough to handle a downpour from a one-in-one-hundred year storm.
The water from the first pond south of St. James is now being released into a drainage ditch that meanders past the Armtec plant near the old railway station. The water drains through a dyke via an old wooden aboiteau out across the marshes and into the Tantramar River.
However, plans call for part of the Phase III money to be used to construct ditches and pipes that would carry water from all three ponds a shorter distance across the industrial park for discharge into the Tantramar through an aboiteau in the dyke near the town’s main sewage lagoons.
The town is hoping to persuade the provincial department of transportation and infrastructure, which controls the dykes, to build a new, double-gated aboiteau to handle the outflow.
Five year saga
The Lorne Street flood control project began more than five years ago when the town first applied for federal and provincial money to help build it.
In May 2017, town council approved the $5.9 million first phase which included replacing sewer, storm sewer and water pipes underneath Lorne and St. James Streets.
In July 2018, the $2.9 million second phase hit a snag when bids came in at $5.9 million forcing the town to abandon plans to dig two water retention ponds.
In December 2018, it awarded a $1.9 million contract to dig the first pond south of St. James on property acquired from CN Rail.
In April 2019, town council learned that 14,000 tonnes of soil contaminated with petroleum, aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals had been unearthed on a site that had been used as an old rail yard for more than a century and that trucking it away for disposal would cost more than $500,000.
To view a comprehensive timeline of Phases I and II, click here.
To read the letter notifying Sackville that it would receive funding for Phase III, click here.