Expropriation for Lacombe road upgrade will result in flooding: family

A man fighting expropriation of several acres of family farmland for a proposed ring road argued the project will lead to flooding on his property.

LACOMBE — A man fighting expropriation of several acres of family farmland for a proposed ring road argued the project will lead to flooding on his property.

Dr. Darrell Paul told an expropriation inquiry on Monday that the drainage plan for a project to upgrade 34th Street on the east side of Lacombe won’t be able to handle the flow during wet years. Water will pool on nearby farmland, killing crops.

Long-term, repeated flooding will devalue the land, which is expected to be developed as Lacombe grows.

Paul, an Airdrie surgeon, and his sister Sherron Paul represent the estate of their late father, whose family has farmed the area since the 1940s.

The Pauls contend the city and Lacombe County’s road upgrade plan takes more land than necessary from their farm, where they grow canola, wheat, barley and hay. Two narrow strips totally just under four acres are required from the Pauls as part of the project to widen, pave and create larger drainage ditches on 34th Street.

They also contend a proposed access to their farmland is in the wrong place and will not be safe.

Paul said in earlier negotiations an agreement had been reached to remove one of the culverts near their property. That culvert is back in more recent designs that the Pauls believe don’t adequately protect the area from flooding.

Negotiations between the Pauls and the city failed to reach an agreement and council voted in February to pursue expropriation.

That decision was premature, say the Pauls, who have pointed out negotiations are still ongoing with other landowners who haven’t been targeted for expropriation.

The ring road to take industrial and commercial traffic out of downtown Lacombe has been in the planning stages for nearly a decade. It will take traffic from Hwy 2A through industrial areas and then connect to Hwy 12.

Matthew Goudy, the city’s director of planning operations, told arbitrator Graham McLennan that 34th Street plans will not increase the likelihood or severity of flooding on the Pauls’ land.

“Will this design cause flooding to the Pauls’ land? Absolutely not,” he said in a response to questioning from the Pauls’ lawyer Daniela O’Callaghan.

Drainage changes that are part of the project will make their land less prone to flooding, he said.

Stantec Consulting engineer Todd Simenson said much of the land in the area is listed on provincial maps as flood ways or flood fringe areas.

The road project will improve drainage in the area and the amount of land required to upgrade the road and provide larger drainage ditches is reasonable based on drainage needs. Proposals put forward by the Pauls to add additional and larger culverts at one spot would add $291,000 to the project’s $4.4 million construction cost and is not supported by Stantec.

Once an inquiry has finished, the inquiry officer has 30 days to make his decision.


Just Posted

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Shaw getting ready to raise prices for its main residential service, CEO says

CALGARY — Residential customers of Shaw Communications Inc. will likely see a… Continue reading

Inflation accelerates as higher airfares, vegetable prices offset cheaper gas

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation rate accelerated to two per cent last… Continue reading

Alberta couple wants cash and charges dropped in meningitis death of their son

CALGARY — An Alberta couple facing a second trial in the meningitis… Continue reading

Moose Jaw wants to challenge Norway for tallest moose statue title

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The City of Moose Jaw, Sask., is on… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Team World sweeps opening day against Team North America at Continental Cup

LAS VEGAS — Team North America has some serious ground to make… Continue reading

SXSW to screen ‘Run This Town,’ which includes Rob Ford character

TORONTO — A drama that features a portrayal of the late Toronto… Continue reading

Fans buy ‘Little House on the Prairie’ star’s memorabilia

GENOA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — More than 200 items belonging to “Little House… Continue reading

Paying down debt should be priority for low income workers, say experts

TORONTO — Investment planning can often be seen as a luxury for… Continue reading

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Judge to deliver verdict in British sailor’s gang rape case

The alleged gang rape took place at a Halifax-area military base in 2015

Most Read