County council hears of culvert issues June 19

Effect of water, runoff on roads part of maintenance report

One of the busiest County of Wetaskiwin Public Works items was closely examined during a regular meeting June 19.

During the regular Public Works Committee meeting, councilors read the “Service Request Management” report from Director of Public Works Neil Powell. The report lists many concerns, complaints and observations from county residents, plus councilors and staff.

Division 1

Powell’s report noted, “It was requested by Councilor Bill Krahn on behalf of Dennis Buskas that the culvert on RGE RD 230 near TWP 442 should be investigated as there is a substantial amount of water backing up.

“This area is part of a larger drainage basin. The County has to be careful how it manages water passing through its roadways. There is always land and property downstream that may not appreciate more water at faster flows.

“This area does get very full during spring melt and high rain events, originating at the Buskas properties and further downstream all the way to its ultimate endpoint of Samson Lake. The County is obligated to understand and abide by the legislation set forth in the Water Act.

“ In summary, the Water Act states that without prior approval and license, no entity is allowed to divert, increase water flows drain wetlands or alter the natural course of drainage. This being said, the County will investigate the issue and report back as per the SRM. Our investigation will look at the existing culvert(s) at the Buskas property and of those road crossings located upstream and downstream.”

Another drainage issue was reported to the county. “The County has registered drainage ditches throughout various properties within the County. Complaints received from Graf family through Councilor Krahn that a drainage ditch through their property needs cleaning in order to flow better.

“This issue was discussed with Steve Majek who indicated the ditch is working but could benefit from cleaning except there is no money dedicated to any of our ditches in the budget. Steve met with the Grafs and provided the following synopsis:

“Jamie and I were out on April 24, 2018 and looked ditch and found no obstructions (beaver dams or other debris) holding water back. Water was flowing through the system. When Jamie and I were at the crossing between the Graf property and the Border Paving property I called both Dylan (son) and Kevin Graf (dad) and let them know that the County would continue to monitor the site and that I would talk to Council regarding the maintenance of the ditch as it is registered to the County of Wetaskiwin. Kevin phoned on May 4 to say that there is a willow in the ditch and it needs to be removed as it will be a place for beaver to start to build a dam.”

Division 2

Powell reported yield signs for north and south bound on TWP RD 480 at RGE R 241 and TWP RD 480 had been installed on May 15.

Division 3

The Public Works director reported yield signs for east and west bound on TWP RD 451 at RGE 262 and TWP RD 451 were installed May 26.

Division 4

Councilor Ken Adair requested that Public Works inspect RGE RD 275 to determine if damage is normal for spring or if repairs are needed. Powell noted this has been assigned to staff.

Division 5

Councilor Adair also requested Public Works look into the following ratepayer concern: “Last fall the County dug out the ditch along Lake Shore Drive. Our ditch was high and water drained north and south from our lot to culverts into the lake. Many years ago we put pipes in the ditch to handle any overflows from possible blocked culverts and filled and seeded lawn to the edge of Lake Drive. The ditch the County left is dangerous and is collapsing. We would like the ditch filled and returned to the original state.” Powell noted it has been assigned to staff and the ratepayer will undertake the seeding of the lawn.

Division 6

Powell’s report noted, “Reeve Kathy Rooyakkers received a request from Terrill Zawartka to have streetlights installed to Centre Street near the Winfield Liquor Store. The area residents have been contacted and Fortis has been sent a work order request.”

Division 7

The report contained the following item: “CAO Rod Hawken received a call April 11 from Councilor L. Seely informing that the bus driver for RGE RD 71 North of TWP 450 is refusing to drive the road. Councilor Seely indicated it is on the summer list for gravel but wondered if there is anything that can be done sooner.

“Ruts were filled and the road was graveled April 12, 2018 before noon. The remaining part of the road will be finished in the summer.”

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