Sundre river concerns heard by Stelmach

The mayor of Sundre expects his town will be saved from Red Deer River flood waters after meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach on Monday.

The mayor of Sundre expects his town will be saved from Red Deer River flood waters after meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach on Monday.

“(Stelmach) is committed to working with us to get it done, whatever work required to be done,” Roy Cummings said.

“He really listened. We believe that he wants to help us here. It went very well.”

The Save Our Sundre committee has been after the province to divert the river, which continues to eat at the town’s banks, threatening homes, businesses and parks.

The committee wants to dredge the river, cleaning garbage and silt from the old westside channel so water can flow freely.

It would mean the erosion on the eastern bank would slow.

If something isn’t done soon, the next big flood could threaten Riverside RV Park, Greenwood Park and town water and sewer lines.

Cummings said Stelmach didn’t commit any money to the project, but the town is still waiting for an engineer’s report that will be finished sometime in October and will determine what needs to be done.

If all goes well, work could begin this fall to get a head start before next year’s runoff, the mayor said.

In August, the SOS committee, struck by the Sundre Chamber of Commerce, announced that the federal government will provide $84,400 for the study needed to determine whether the river can be moved back to the channel where it had run prior to extreme flooding in the late spring of 2005.

The study will include a detailed description of the area that would be affected, a fish habitat study, an environmental review of the design and construction methods and creation of a process for mitigation and compensation.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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