Concerns raised about proposed Sundre flood berm

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources has raised concerns about a proposed anti-flooding berm near Sundre.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources has raised concerns about a proposed anti-flooding berm near Sundre.

Among the issues raised by department staff in a letter to Mountain View County are the location of the berm, the use of Crown land and possible impacts on floodways.

Tony Martens, chief administrative officer for the county, said local representatives are to meet the ministers of Environment; Tourism Parks and Recreation and Municipal Affairs on July 7 to discuss how best to go forward.

The county will need to address the objections for construction to get the green light from the province.

“I believe we can work something out,” he said.

County and Town of Sundre representatives have lobbied the province for years for funding to improve flood defences.

In March, the province announced $3.1 million in funding for a roughly four-km berm a few kilometres upstream of Sundre. It is hoped construction can start this year to be ready for next year’s spring runoff.

Joe Anglin, Wildrose MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, expressed frustration with the department’s objections to building the berm on Crown land.

“Talk about a NIMBY (not-in-my-backyard) attitude from government,” he said. “You shake your head. You feel like you’ve made a great leap forward and you find out you’re taking two steps back.

“You get one part of the government saying OK, this has to be done, and they you get the other part of the government saying OK, but not on my land.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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