The City of Brandon has come up with a short-term solution for drainage problems in the southeast corner of the city — but one resident says it’s too little too late.
Garth Hoy’s RM of Cornwallis property has been continually flooded this spring and summer, a recurring problem that began back to 2011. Hoy believes it is a direct result of the city pumping water from a retention pond.
“What’s ended up happening, over four years or so ... the ground is so saturated, it doesn’t matter now,” Hoy said. “Basically ... the damage is done.”
Just this season, Hoy has dealt with about six floods in the basement of his home.
“It’s wet again, the fans are on, the pumps are on,” he told the Sun recently.
Hoy’s basement is now gutted after renovating just three years ago. Hoy and his wife Shelley Hoy bought the property eight years ago, where they live and run the Golden Acres Boarding Kennels. Prior to 2011, he said there were no water issues.
“I firmly believe that they really have upset the whole water table level in this area,” he said.
Water was being pumped from the pond near Crocus Plains Secondary School, south to Patricia Avenue and over to the east, which is the ditch across from Hoy’s property. The water then continued east, and then eventually went to the RM of Cornwallis.
In May, Hoy sent an official notice through his lawyers to the City of Brandon, claiming the city has failed to provide adequate protection. A provincial spokesperson previously told the Sun that the city did not have a licence for the drainage work being done. If necessary information was not provided, the province would have to carry out a stop work order.
Hoy was recently granted a meeting with representatives from the city, the RM and Manitoba Conservation.
In an effort to alleviate the concern, the city extended the piping past Hoy’s property.
“The long-term solution is for us to redirect that water across First Street into the property adjacent to Mr. Hoy’s and run it through that way,” said Patrick Pulak, the city’s director of engineering and water resources.
An engineering consultant is working with the city and province to get the appropriate technical and design information needed to license the project, according to a provincial spokesperson. There is no licence in place at the moment, as the modified plan eliminates the immediate impact on the neighbours. The province has not issued a stop-work order.
“With an engineering consultant engaged by the city, the project can move ahead, but there are specific timelines and deadlines now in place for the city (through their consultant) to supply information and have their long-term engineered solution (which also involves the RM of Cornwallis) in place,” stated a provincial spokesperson in an email.
The city has confirmed culverts will be installed at Hoy’s property, something he is anxiously waiting for.
“Until I can get pumps in these wells, and try working on my water table level, there’s not a whole lot I can do,” he said. “Over the years, the damage has been done.”
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