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Council addressing drainage issues in industrial area

Posted on June 11, 2014 by Taber Times

A cost-sharing agreement between the Town of Taber and an industrial area business operator has been approved by town council to deal with drainage issues plaguing the property.

Council voted 6-1 to direct administration to work with Taber Diesel Services to move drainage from the southeast corner of the Taber Diesel property to the existing ditch on the southside of 56th Avenue by construction of a catch basin and culvert in the road, and also to reinstall an asphalt approach between the Taber Diesel property and the asphalt carriageway in 56th Avenue, and that the estimated cost of $7,500 be divided so that two thirds is paid by Taber Diesel and one third by the town, with the town’s portion coming from operating reserves. Coun. Joe Strojwas opposed the motion.

“Drainage in the industrial area is a real problem, it’s always been a problem,” said Coun. Rick Popadynetz. “There’s not a lot of stormwater catch basins in the industrial area. I can agree with the rest of council that has spoken on this subject, in saying that we should look at a study for the entire industrial area. What these business owners have to understand is we’re trying to accommodate something that wasn’t done in the past.”

Council had received two letters from the owner of Taber Diesel Services, Cam Mandel, complaining about surface water drainage from the subject Taber Diesel Services property that had been compromised when an adjacent landowner put up a berm on the property to the north, and that the town was complicit in allowing this berm while also having allowed construction of the industrial building on the subject property at a level that did not allow proper drainage.

Another issue voiced by Mandel was that the town had removed an asphalt approach to the subject property that the landowner had installed on the municipal roadway south of that property, the asphalt removal having been completed in 2012 because the asphalt was degrading.

Mandel objected to the removal because it  was completed without the town first consulting the landowner about the possibility of repairing it.

As a result, discussions with Mandel had been conducted and a resolution determined, which would involve Taber Diesel Services contouring the land on its property to get surface water draining to the property’s southeast corner, at which point the town would construct a catch basin in the road immediately south of that drainage channel, and also install a culvert under the road’s asphalt carriageway to get surface drainage into the ditch on the south side of the road (56th Avenue).

The town would also reinstall the asphalt approach to the subject property at the same time it replaced asphalt over the new culvert.

The estimated cost of the work on the town’s road was $7,500, which includes the drainage basin, culvert and asphalt.

The agreement between the landowner and administration will see the cost split so the landowner pays two thirds ($5,000) and the town one third ($2,500). The landowner will also be responsible for all work on the Taber Diesel Services property, while the town would cover labour costs associated with organizing the project.

Lengthy council discussion focused on whether it might be more practicable to come up with a drainage solution that might better suit all landowners and business operators in the area, rather than a solution that would be specific to one property.

“This is not new water that would be going north, this water always went north until that berm was put in there,” said Coun. Strojwas. “It seems to me that when you’re fighting with water — when you look down at 57th Avenue, it’s at least three feet below 56th Avenue. I would suggest that putting a swale on either side of those properties and directing it back to 57th Avenue and taking it through the culvert system there would affect six landowners, not just two in this case. I’d suggest the cost would be a lot less with swales. I’m really wondering if this is the best option for all six property owners there.”

Coun. Randy Sparks pushed for approval of the agreement, suggesting larger area drainage issues will be dealt more comprehensively in future.

“I just don’t understand why we’re talking about swales and easements, when the town in the budget has put money aside for an industrial drainage master plan. So all of these swales, and all of these easements that are put in may be worth nothing when they complete a master plan. Mr. Mandel has agreed to this — it might be a short-term fix — but short-term or not let’s

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