Sackville flood control project hits $200K snag

Land behind Sackville community gardens where a flood control pond is to be dug later this year

Tantramar Town Council will be asked to approve allocating an extra $206,050 next week to replace wetlands that will be lost or disturbed in completing the final phase of Sackville’s Lorne Street flood control project.

The money would likely come out of next year’s municipal budget. It would be used to enlist the professional services of Ducks Unlimited Canada in restoring, enhancing or creating 6.34 hectares (15.66 acres) of wetlands to compensate for losses when contractors dig a large stormwater retention pond behind the community gardens on Charles Street later this year.

In background documents prepared for the next council meeting on August 8th, Town Engineer Jon Eppell writes that the provincial environment department will not issue a Watercourse and Wetland Alteration (WAWA) permit for the flood control work until it receives a plan to compensate for wetland losses.

He adds that Ducks Unlimited is willing to undertake the ownership and responsibility for 6.34 hectares of wetland compensation at the standard cost of $32,500 per hectare. That would include the provision of needed lands, development of the project, construction, monitoring and reporting to New Brunswick’s environment department.

The council background documents include a letter from Englobe, the Moncton engineering firm that is overseeing completion of the flood control project.

The letter, signed by project manager Andy Caldwell, says that engaging the professional services of Ducks Unlimited would be much cheaper than if the municipality undertook wetland compensation on its own.

Caldwell also writes that municipal wetland compensation would significantly delay completion of the Lorne Street project while plans were designed and studies conducted.

Meantime, Sackville resident Percy Best, who has been a persistent critic of the flood control project, wonders why engineers at Englobe did not anticipate the costs of wetland compensation.

“The assigned money for the federal-provincial-municipal cost-shared project has presumably all been designated now, so it is like ‘BOING’, guess what, here is an additional bill that Pierre Plourde at Englobe definitely should have informed the town of before the job went to tender,” Best writes in an e-mail to Warktimes.

“If the Ducks Unlimited cost was known before tendering, then the contract to Beale & Inch should have been for a lesser amount so that there would be enough cost-shared funds to cover ALL the bills,” he adds.

“Without it being included, I think 100% of the cost will come directly from the Town’s future budget.”

Update on flood project

Ditch stops just short of dyke where plans call for a new provincially funded aboiteau to drain stormwater into the Tantramar River at low tide

Meantime, Beale & Inch construction workers have completed the section of ditch that will drain storm water through a new aboiteau into the Tantramar River.

Earlier, they installed culverts under Crescent Street and are now working on finishing installation of the ones under Sloan Drive.

According to the latest update from the town, tentative plans call for Sloan to re-open sometime next week while the repaving of both Crescent and Sloan will begin on August 14th, the same day that Charles Street will close for installation of culverts to conduct stormwater from the first retention pond south of St. James Street to the one to be dug behind the community gardens.

For an overview of the flood control project, click on the Englobe diagram below to enlarge it.

New water retention pond, ditches and culvert crossings

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9 Responses to Sackville flood control project hits $200K snag

  1. S.A. Cunliffe says:

    We must all truly be “quackers” to think this is all dandy, necessary and legit.
    What a crony conservationalist con they are running here…. with zero push-back.
    Protect the ducks…. steal more land for the ducks… is anyone else buying this spiel?

    • Chris Harborne says:

      There is a legit question to be asked why the original project did not include the original cost for the wetlands. However, you are not allowed to destroy wetlands, it’s the law. Has been for a long time, and in many places across the world. Wetlands are important for many aspects of the ecosystem, not just “land for ducks”.

    • Les Hicks says:

      “is anyone else buying this spiel?” Yes, Sally, anyone who has taken courses in environmental sciences, or has gone on-line and learned about the subject from scientific articles, is aware of the importance and value of wetlands as natural filters that reduce the amount of contaminants and excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus that enter waterbodies. They are also important in their roles as carbon sinks and maintaining biodiversity on our tiny planet. Instead of commenting on the subject of wetlands that you apparently know nothing about, you might want to first try reading some factual articles on the subject, or do you find that too tiresome?

      • S.A. Cunliffe says:

        Hilarious. oh dear me… Les.. you are so funny… I think the Ducks here have the run of the place in Tantramar… its the humans that I am concerned about and their health, prosperity, safety and shelter… to be honest I could not have expected anything else from your closed mind.. could I ?

    • Elaine MacDonald says:

      ” its the humans that I am concerned about and their health, prosperity, safety and shelter… ”

      If that’s true then you should be more informed about wetlands and how they, indeed, help with the health, prosperity, safety and shelter of humans.

      As pointed out, it’s against the law to destroy wetlands. Laws passed by – gasp – humans. So… perhaps take it up with the people who passed the law to begin with, yes?

      • S.A. Cunliffe says:

        Elaine – with all the respect that you are due – there is not one environmentalist in this region that believes that humans are worth protecting.. in fact they think they are a virus on the “overpopulated planet”. I don’t buy into their ideologies.. and I have lived here long enough to recognize their indoctrination and the damage that it does to our society.

  2. ARNOLD says:


    • Percy Best says:

      Well Arnold, I wonder if what happened in this secretive little town of ours, the past Senior Manager of Corporate Projects, (that went on to be our CAO), had the construction of the retention pond and the walkways off St James Street, fully compensated for by the excavation of the contaminated freight shed property as well as the curved PEI to NS rail bed section. That mysterious and secretive Town/CN deal should NEVER have taken place and did not comply with the fact that CN was certainly financially responsible for their soil contamination. Hey, but what the heck is half a million dollars of taxpayers money. Due diligence was certainly not the name of the game for our Council at the time.

      Those CN lands were basically converted from an industrial area into a wetlands area (including walkways) and I presume that move would have given the town enough credit for the WAWA permit. A small additional wetland pond was created beside the new Lorne Street Parking lot near Crescent Street across from the ball field for another credit perhaps.

      Then Ducks Unlimited built the wetlands pond between Marshlands Inn and St James Street perhaps for additional land for the WAWA permit. It seems to me that all of that was negotiated without the public being aware of what was actually going on and there is now approximately a very modest 0.1 hectare credit for that work that is usable by the town for the WAWA permit for the new retention pond that will be build by Beale and Inch off Charles Street.

      So many secretive things in what was years ago such an open communication town. It does seem that thankfully a major change is currently taking place now that we have new staff employed. That sure seems to be the case revealed by the thorough presentations made at last night’s Council Meeting by our new Town Engineer Jon Eppell. That openness is certainly refreshing.

      Interesting that a full public Information session was promised for the current $5.4 million dollar project but NONE was ever held. Perhaps too many questions would been asked to Englobe if that meeting had indeed been held. I know I had quite a list prepared. Thanks go out to Jon Eppell, Bruce Wark and Erica Butler for keeping us all currently informed.

      • S.A. Cunliffe says:

        Your unwillingness to call out corruption and go along with the merry dance of these pond-building land-grabbing envirocrats and their outrageous spending is duly noted. Perhaps because you’re a very rich man [according to Christian Corbet] you’re looking for your opportunity to come up for a ‘comfy payoff’ — don’t think I didn’t notice when you snagged that piece of land on the corner near the Tantramar Gas Bar years back at a point when I was advocating/suggesting the Town purchase it and use it for the skatepark project that I am happily still advocating for despite no longer having the Facebook page for the project which is where you were questioning me Percy.. I am censored so much. But no matter, I do have a pretty good feel for how ‘business’ is done in the region at this point.

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