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Town, frustrated homeowners working on drainage

by David Meyer

MINTO - Some frustrated homeowners and township staff are meeting to discuss possible solutions to a drainage issue in Clifford that has seen two floods in the past two springs.

Robert and Phyllis Huntley, Lars Eedy and Patricia Hugo-Eedy have concerns over drainage issues at 56 and 62 Elora St. in Clifford.

They noted there had never been any flooding problems until a couple of homes were built nearby, and then they had a minor flood the first year, and a major one this spring. They attended council in July but felt their concerns went unanswered.

Lars Eedy presented a number of questions about work done this summer to determine the problem, including the digging of a hole on his property without his permission.

“The engineer did not make an effort to contact us during the investigation and preparation of the report, therefore reflecting the views of only one property owner,” he said in a written statement to council.

He wanted to know “Why does the engineer only identify our property at the site for re-routing a new drainage system and then expect us to cover the cost?”

Eedy said the report did not take into account the amount of fill used to raise the elevation of the property where the two new homes were built at the corner of William and James Street “as contributing to the flooding and the overall degradation of the neighbourhood drainage system.”

He pointed out he and his wife have had the property for 11 years and did not experience flooding until those homes were built.

Town drainage superintendent Greg Nancekivell told council he had looked at the properties and there definitely is flooding on them. He spoke with the builder of the two houses, but also found there is no drain registered anywhere in the area.

“We can’t find any records,” he said.

He added there were some small holes on the Eedy property, so he was able to uncover part of an old drain, but it does not appear to be connected to anything, and it is plugged.

Nancekivell said Minto has no legal obligation to provide or maintain a drain, and the issue is a private drain matter. He said he can offer the property owners some advice.

He said the most economical solution would be an agreement drain.

Nancekivell said if the proponents are unable to reach an agreement with their neighbours over a drain and who pays for what, they can petition for a drain under the Drainage Act.

But, he warned, such a step is very costly for such a small area, and the price would hardly be warranted.

Chief administrative officer Bill White asked who would do the negotiating.

Nancekivell said it would be the landowners. “On occasion, we have assisted as drainage superintendents.”

Councillor Ron Elliott asked, “Are you one hundred per cent sure the new properties aren’t causing this.”

Nancekivell said, “Not 100%. It could be verified.”

Councillor Mary-Lou Colville asked “How many properties are involved?”

Nancekivell said there are a minimum of three, and there could be more. He added the town has agreed to make a drainage outlet connection to a storm sewer in the area.

Phyllis Huntley said it is frustrating because they have been unable to get any answers. She said their hired engineer was also unable to get any answers about drainage in the area.

Elliott asked what it would cost for a drain. Nancekivell said there is no cost set out yet.

Huntley told council, “We want to know where the water is coming from.”

Patricia Hugo-Eedy said, there is a pipe in the yards that just stops. “Nobody knows where it goes - or doesn’t.”

Mayor George Bridge suggested public works director Norm Fisk, the engineers and the delegation get together to thrash out the possibilities as the council meeting continued.

He added, ruefully, “Some of these drains could be 100 years old.” He said of the meeting, “You can do that now. I hope we can get this solved somehow.”



October 14, 2011


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