Save Our Sundre group disbands

The Save Our Sundre committee, formed early last year to petition for changes to the course of the Red Deer River in order to keep erosion from endangering the town, has disbanded.

The Save Our Sundre committee, formed early last year to petition for changes to the course of the Red Deer River in order to keep erosion from endangering the town, has disbanded.

Spokesman Myron Thompson said the committee met on Tuesday morning and decided to suspend itself until after municipal elections on Oct. 18.

“To put it in plain language, the town as far as I’m concerned has dropped the ball,” Thompson said.

“We just don’t know what we can do any further than what we’ve already done. . . . We’ve gone as far as we can with this elected body and we’re going to see what we get for the next election.”

Also meeting Tuesday were Mayor Roy Cummings and director of operational services Ron Baker, who were set to tour the riverbank area.

“The river is up right now and it’s chewing away, not in our most vulnerable spot, but just downstream of it it’s eroding the bank,” said Baker.

Baker made a presentation to the town’s governance committee on Monday night outlining what progress had been recently made on the matter.

He met with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Alberta Environment last month and was told the study commissioned by the town and completed by Stantec Consulting lacked details, like construction drawings and timelines, necessary for approval for a project.

“Basically the real nuts and bolts of the job. . . . We need a bunch more money to do that,” said Baker, adding he was expecting to sit down soon with Cummings and MP Blake Richards to ponder funding possibilities for further study.

This is exactly the kind of money trouble that galls Thompson. He said the town should have long ago secured infrastructure funding by working with the provincial and federal governments.

“Pure and simple, it just hasn’t been done,” said Thompson.

“(The riverbank) is eroding like crazy . . . it’s just continuing to fall into the river, steady as you go.”

Thompson said that although no formal decisions had been made on the three solutions proposed in the Stantec study — options that range in cost from $500,000 to $1.5 million — they would most likely armour the bank with riprap and/or build spurs out into the river.

mgauk@bprda.wpengine.com

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