Lacombe to consider fix to slumping land

Lacombe city council will be asked on Monday to approve $57,000 to fix slumping problems around a scenic pond ringed by homes.

Lacombe city council will be asked on Monday to approve $57,000 to fix slumping problems around a scenic pond ringed by homes.

Residents have been urging the city to do something since last year when huge sections of bank around the natural pond slid away and dropped as much as three metres in places.

Some homeowners feared the damage would eventually spread to their yards.

Council was reluctant then to spend money fixing the damage until a thorough engineering estimate was done.

That was completed this year and engineering consultants proposed a pair of options priced at $2.4 million and $57,000.

The pricier option involved excavating the slope and rebuilding it with a geo-synthetic material filled with pit run.

The cheaper alternative involved improving grading and repairing some of the damage, including replacing vegetation and shoring up the area with clay.

Engineers said the slumping was caused by a high water table in the pond and poor grading on a vacant lot that contributed to the soil around the pond becoming saturated.

Matt Goudy, the city’s engineering services manager, said both options were reviewed and the lower priced one came out on top.

“We think that’s going to give a really long-term solution to this problem,” he said.

A report is going to council at its next meeting on Monday and if the project gets the green light, the work will likely be done this fall.

Mayor Steve Christie said the city is committed to addressing the Henner’s Pond problems and ensuring nearby properties are protected.

‘We’re definitely looking to fix it. We’re not looking to skimp out in any way,” he said.

Goudy said grading has already been done on a vacant lot that contributed to the problem through runoff.

The $57,000-solution will involve fixing large cracks that have opened up, replacing some trees and adding vegetation and repairing a trail that was wiped out by slumping earth.

“A lot of the problem was created by high moisture content and poor drainage on site,” he said.

“So we’re going to put in some clay that will shed the water a lot better. It’s got some plasticity so it will stand up and support the slope a lot better.”

Besides being expensive, the other option involved extensive excavation of the natural area around the pond.

“Myself, I don’t see that as the direction to move in municipal government,” he said.

“I think we should be working with the natural spaces we have, especially around our water bodies.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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