Residents question costs for municipal drain improvements


By Barb McKay


North end residents will have an opportunity to be heard regarding a municipal drain project when public hearings are held next month.


A public meeting was held last Wednesday during Kincardine’s council meeting to go over technical aspects of the project and allow landowners in the Jones municipal drain area to ask questions. The municipal drain provides an outlet for water for properties along Concessions 11 and 12.


Jeremy Taylor of R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd. in Wingham provided an overview of the planned improvements to the municipal drain. He said residents petitioned for the project to get a better outlet from the open drain to the channel and extend the drain downstream. So far, three public meetings have been held, including an onsite meeting in February.


The existing drain was constructed in 1984. Taylor said a blockage has been discovered in the drain between Concessions 11 and 12 that is creating a backlog of water onto at least one property.


“(The work) won’t prevent flooding entirely but it will be a significant improvement,” he said.


The project is expected to cost $199,000, with landowners picking up $190,000.


Dale MacDonald, who owns property upstream of the drain, questioned the assessments.


“I wouldn’t expect everyone to pay for my drainage problems,” he said. “I’ve had my share of drainage problems and I’ve had to pay for them out of my own pocket.”


Taylor explained that when properties are assessed to determine how landowners will pay engineers determine if the property is impacting the drain or if it is one that would benefit from having the improvements by an increase in property value or ease of maintenance. He said that residents will have an opportunity to appeal their assessment at the court of revision, which must occur before council gives the project its final approval.


Another resident, Norma Kempers, asked if engineers had examined the drain to see if there would be a more practical and cost effective way to get similar results. Taylor replied that the original fencing plans for pasture lands had been revised to remove some of the fencing that was required, which has reduced costs. But the drain extension that is proposed is a design that is standard.


A court of revision will be held June 5 at 10 a.m. in Kincardine council chambers. Deputy mayor Anne Eadie and councillors Randy Roppel and Guy Anderson have been appointed to oversee the proceedings.