By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
As for building permits in the Town of Coaldale year-to-date, Coun. Jack Van Rijn said there are 13 permits with a value of just over $1.6 million, as he presented a report to the Coaldale and District Chamber of Commerce at a regular meeting and annual general meeting held Mar. 11.
“Coaldale’s doing good, as far as construction goes,” Van Rijn noted.
In regards to the water reservoir pipeline being put in along 8 Street, Van Rijn noted, the town is connecting the Dog Park via pipeline to the east water reservoir.
“When we had the flood events in June, where residents saw the pipe above ground, it’s going to be underground now,” he said.
Van Rijn noted there are a few reasons for that including the task is very labour intensive and time consuming to lay the pipe out and pumps are only able to be idle because of the sheer volume and the pressure of the water.
“They’re not able to use the pumps at full capacity. It takes forever to empty the water retention pond, which is also known as the Dog Park. That will help mitigate some of the concerns we had in the Parkside area,” Van Rijn explained.
Residents might have noticed other digging in Coaldale, Van Rijn said, along the canal from 13 Street to 8 Street.
“The St. Mary River Irrigation District (SMIRD) is currently doing a $1.7 million project, where they’re installing a 48-inch water pipe and also a 24-inch water pipe. The reason for putting two of them in is they’re not able to get one pipe large enough to do the sheer volume of water they need for the canal system. The reasoning for doing that is to help solve some of the problems they’ve been having with the canal banks in that area with erosion and so forth,” said Van Rijn.
According to the councillor, he spoke with one of the engineers involved with the project and one of the questions Van Rijn has been asked is why doesn’t the SMIRD go all the way through town with the canal underground? The main reason is — according to Van Rijn’s discussion with the engineer — is where the construction has begun on 13 Street, where the bridge historically goes across the canal into the Quads, there’s a spillway there. In case there’s a flood event, the water has an opportunity to spill onto the Quad area, and there’s also a drainage ditch in the area.
“For safety concerns, everybody knows the pipe can only hold so much water. If we do have a large event with rain, then it has an opportunity to bypass the piping, the overflow, and it will go into the spillway ditch there. They said that’s not saying that’s something they’ll look at in the future going further west but right now the big thing is the cost of doing the work,” said Van Rijn.
As for the Coaldale Industrial Park, Van Rijn noted, Phase One of the lots are completely sold out. Phase Two has 10 of 19 lots sold.
“We have a Phase Three that’s not totally developed yet but of those potential 25 lots, six of those are sold.”
In Parkside, Van Rijn said, there is only one lot left for sale and there are discussions regarding the possibility of another phase in the area. In Westgate Landing, located south of Tim Horton’s, Van Rijn added there’s been a lot of work going on in that area, as well.
“Out of 68 available lots, they have 26 housing starts — either started or completed,” he said.
In Cottonwood Estates, Van Rijn said, Phase Six and Phase Seven has one lot left out of 61.
“In Phase Eight, there are 13 lots out of 23 and they are currently working on Phase Nine and Phase Ten, which will make another 48 lots available,” he added.
Van Rijn told chamber members at the meeting town spring cleanup was just around the corner.
“For the residents in Coaldale, we don’t do the spring cleanup in a sense of going to pick up everybody’s garbage in the alley, other than what normally fits in the normal bin but what we’re going to do, that what we’ve done in the past is each resident is allowed three coupons to be picked up at the Town Office throughout the year. Residents are allowed three per year and residents are allowed to take up to 250 kilograms of waste to the landfill in Lethbridge,” said Van Rijn, adding the coupons can be combined.