The pressure is on to have the damage caused this spring by high water events in the Michichi Creek remediated.
In April, the Michichi Creek banks swelled to some of the highest levels known. Residents saw dramatic flooding on properties east of Highway 9 at the intersection of the Verdant Valley Road. But much damage was caused to the banks as it passed by residences on 9th Street West.
“It took out a lot of property there, it went over two property lines,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “If we have another one like that, there is a garage and sheds that would be undermined. The part that is critical is where residents could start losing their property.”
The town lobbied successfully this summer for funding from the province to have the project completed. They were able to secure Ledcor to do the work and had the project engineered.
According to Mayor Yemen, Fisheries and Oceans, because it concerns a body of water, have to sign off on the project. Last week they looked at the project and have yet to give the go ahead. Yemen is concerned that it might take a while.
“What concerns me is we dealt with Fisheries and Oceans with the boat launch (at Newcastle Beach), and it took a year and a half,” said Yemen.
“Ideally, right now is when we would like to do the work,” said Yemen. “We have low water and the weather is still good.”
His concerns came across in a strongly worded letter he penned to MP Kevin Sorenson.
“Fisheries and Oceans have only now become involved and the project is basically on hold while the bureaucrats discuss it. If this project is prevented from moving forward as planned, there will be dire consequences in spring 2012 if we have a high water spring runoff again. I would ask that you, in your capacity, make every effort to intervene and strongly encourage Fisheries and Oceans to lead, follow or get out of the way,” stated the letter.
He received a response from Sorenson's office in a timely manner and says they have followed up with Fisheries and Oceans and are hopeful the process can be sped up.