Sexsmith municipal councillors are optimistic that construction on a number of flood mitigation projects will see shovels in the ground this spring after finalizing $1.5 million in borrowing from the provincial government.
The stormwater project, which includes the completion of a berm expansion, as well as ditch deepening and culvert design for 99th Avenue, has an overall cost of $4.5 million. Mayor Kate Potter says there is true optimism that the work being done could help prevent future flood events, which have become somewhat of an unwelcomed annual event.
“It’s an expansion of a berm that exists in part, but we are expanding it down and around most of the wetlands that are on the north end of town because that’s what floods… with the snow, and that, it overwhelms the creek,”
The project, which was tentatively planned to begin in 2021, faced a slight delay, as a change in designation to the creek running through the municipality to a fish-bearing creek has forced a Water Act reapplication. She says now that that’s done, they can move on to tendering the project and hope to have the entire thing completed before the end of the year, which she says can’t come soon enough.
“There has been water running, but it would get cold enough at the time right to keep it from getting overwhelming, and we haven’t had the accumulation of snow now because so much has melted,” she says.
“We are hopeful, cautiously hopeful, and optimistic that we won’t see significant flooding here again, but we still have a few months to go.”