Stormwater issues stall development
A development geared towards seniors in the Henner’s Heights area won’t be moving forward until a stormwater outlet issue has been resolved.
Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) has told the Charis Village board members that until an appropriate outlet for stormwater from Henner’s Pond into Wolf Creek is installed, new subdivisions in the area will not be approved.
“We were all kind of excited earlier this spring and summer. We thought Charis was finally going to get off the ground and become a reality. Then we got the letter from the Minister of the Environment,” Glenda Johnson told council on Tuesday night.
“But we believe Charis is a powerful project. This will be a huge asset to the City of Lacombe We’ve picked Lacombe because this is where we’d like to see it, but we can’t go ahead until this issue is dealt with.”
As per a stormwater management analysis for Henner’s Pond, it’s the community’s main storage facility for runoff. However, it does not have an outlet and only loses stormwater volume by evaporation. During a major rain, water levels could rise approximately half a metre and cause storm system backups, slope failure along pond banks and flooding.
Not only would an outlet be needed, but a sanitary lift station, as well. The estimate for the project, excluding land costs, is $1.7 million.
Coun. Reuben Konnik said the project was a “no brainer” to consider during capital plan and budget deliberations.
“We had issues with rising levels on Henner’s Pond already. In fact, we had to do remedial work to correct some sloughing... the bank was literally falling into the pond because of rising levels,” he said.
Tax revenue from the development, as well as others in the Henner’s Heights area, he said, would also be hugely beneficial to the city for many years to come.
The Charis Village development is set to include 13 independent living duplexes, three four-storey independent living condominiums, assisted living complexes and 24-hour living care facility and amenities. It could potentially be a $150 million project, that would employ 200 people once completed.
Council agreed to consider the project during 2018 and 10 Year Capital Plan budget deliberations.
Finding a replacement for Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Dion Pollard has been delayed until the new year.
A schedule was approved by council Tuesday night for the process, which was previously deferred so council could review recruitment agencies.
Advertising for the position will begin Jan. 3, with the closing date to apply set for Jan. 20. The interview process is expected to be completed mid to late February.
Pollard departed following the recent municipal election to take a job as the City Manager for Lloydminster.
Operations and Planning Director Matthew Goudy has taken over the role of Acting CAO.
Changes are coming with regards to how Lacombe city council carries out its business.
On Tuesday night, council discussed a variety of changes and updates to the Procedural Bylaw 370 that could be up for consideration, including live streaming, recorded votes, blind voting as well as a potential shift in meetings from Monday to Tuesday.
Potential changes will be discussed at an upcoming committee meeting, and then put before council at a regular meeting for approval.
Budget Open House
Residents interested in having their first look at the draft of the 2018 City of Lacombe Operating and Capital budgets will have an opportunity Thursday, Nov. 16 during a budget open house.
The open house will be held in the North County Room at the Lacombe Memorial Centre from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.
All City of Lacombe residents are invited to attend and provide feedback or simply learn about the municipal financial planning process.
Public feedback will be presented to council during the Nov. 27 meeting, and shared with the public.
For more information, visit www.lacombe.ca or call (403)782-6666.
Be sure to see next week’s issue of the Lacombe Globe for more on what the budget will entail.