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Town working to ease flood worries

Posted on June 16, 2014 by Maple Creek

The town wants to ease the fears of Harrigan Crescent residents who are worried about flooding as a result of drainage from the new healthcare facility property.

The issue was discussed during council’s regular meeting June 11.

Homeowners on Harrigan Crescent submitted a letter to council detailing their concerns about water draining off the roof and parking lot of the facility into their back alley and backyards.

Stantec Architecture intended to use a natural shallow swale running east and west between the facility’s property and the alley to drain water to the creek, but residents worry this won’t be enough to handle the flow.

Mayor Barry Rudd said the drainage route was in the engineering plan, but in looking at the area in question he said he understands homeowners’ concerns.

The town spoke with Graham Construction and will be looking into digging a deeper ditch in the shallow swale.

“The water will come out of the culvert and it’ll run west, then when it gets to the alley that goes north to the drain on Third Avenue, there’s lot of room there… that we could continue that and make a small swale,” Rudd explained. “That way it’s got a drainage ditch to go in. We’ll work with it and they’ll work with us, too, to make sure that the landscaping is as such.”

In other business, Rudd reported more information has been provided regarding rail safety. During a Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) meeting in February, mayors and councillors from across the province unanimously voted for tighter rail safety rules. Some of the concerns included the speed of trains hauling dangerous goods and whether or not municipalities can find out when dangerous goods are being transported.

Rudd said information on dangerous goods will be reported quarterly. The Ministry of Transportation is limiting the speed of trains hauling dangerous goods to 80 kilometres per hour or less as they pass through towns.

“To me, it doesn’t look like they’ve slowed down,” Rudd said. “How do you know they are? How do you know they’re slowing down?”

Applications were made for three properties in the downtown through the Main Street Program and Maple Creek Heritage Conservation Incentive Program. The BC Cafe, Luxito & Co. and 37 Pacific Avenue received municipal heritage property designations under the Saskatchewan Heritage Property Act. The program provides tax credits to level one and level two heritage property owners within the heritage district who undertake rehabilitation of their buildings in a manner that respects the building’s heritage character. Council consented to the designations.

Town administrator Michele Schmidt reported boulevard trees that were damaged and dying in front of a property on Jasper Street have been trimmed to address safety concerns. The homeowner previously requested the town remove the three old boulevard trees in front of his property. The town hopes trimming the trees instead will allow them to be saved.

The town continues to look into purchasing speed readers to alert drivers as to how fast they’re travelling through town. They would be placed at areas where speeding is a big concern. Schmidt stated the solar-powered signs range in price from about $3,400 through one supplier to about $5,000 through another. Council has discussed installing two to three in town. Rudd said the speed readers are so widely used that he believes the town can get them at a lower cost. Schmidt will continue inquiring.

A delegation from the Jasper Centre approached council about the issue of the building’s sewers backing up due to rainwater. Because the roof drains run into the building’s sewer drains, downpours of rain have been backing up the sewer. The blockage is occurring beneath the floor, but the committee does not have the funds to tear up the floor and find the problem. The best solution was determined to be cutting a hole in the drain that runs inside the building and inserting the sewer camera there to find the exact location of the issue.

Councillor Ellaine Hawrylak reported the Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring prizes for the best decorated business and float for the Heritage Day celebrations and rodeo parade. Local businesses are also encouraged to host a function downtown during the Heritage Day festival.

Communities in Bloom will be holding its garden tour on July 20, with participant numbers and locations yet to be determined. The CiB Committee will also be naming a best yard of the week. It will start July 1 and run for eight weeks.

Hawrylak attended the Heritage Advisory Committee meeting as well and said anyone with old red bricks they are not using is encouraged to contact Royce Pettyjohn.

“These bricks are not made in Canada anymore,” she explained. “They have to come out of the United States, which makes them really expensive. So it would be nice if we could find piles of old red bricks.”

An architect will also be coming to look at the old theatre building, which the committee hopes to see returned to its original purpose in the future.

Lori Davis informed council of the Healing Benefit for William, which is being held on July 30 at the Armoury. The benefit is for four-year-old William Francis-Schimpf, who has been diagnosed with leukemia. Auction items are being collected at Haillo Beauty Salon, and the event will feature George Leach – winner of the Best Aboriginal Album of the Year at the 2014 Juno Awards. Council agreed to waive the fee of renting the Armoury for the day and offered the use of its barbecue for the supper.

The Cypress Cyclones were granted permission to close the first block of Jasper Street on Aug. 16 for their annual street dance. Creek Classics Auto Club was also granted permission to close the 300 block of Jasper Street for its Show ‘n’ Shine on the same day.

The Southwest Saskatchewan Oldtimers Association requested a donation to offset the cost of fireworks for Canada Day celebrations. Council consented to making its usual $500 donation.

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