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Drainage improvements coming to Musquash Road area in the years ahead
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Drainage improvements coming to Musquash Road area in the years ahead

Posted: 2024-02-14 12:57:34 By: thebay

Gravenhurst Council approved a major stormwater drainage improvement project, in the February 13, 2024, meeting.

Director of Infrastructure Services, Andrew Stacey, advised that in 2021 Council approved an evaluation of the stormwater system due to nuisance flooding impacting residents.

According to the staff report, current stormwater flows are creating a problem from upstream. “These flows are currently conveyed via a drainage network of ditches, culverts, and storm sewers that direct storm water across various roads and through private properties.”

The Town’s Storm Report from 2021 and 2022 Environmental Assessment (EA) indicated that a culvert crossing, and downstream storm sewer don’t have adequate capacity which is causing an accumulation of water on the road, in addition to backing up to a property on Musquash Road, and additional drainage issues on Private Street, McPherson Street, and Muskoka Road 169.

The EA evaluated potential improvements from Musquash Road to Lake Muskoka.

Stacey advised that the design will be one fitting with an “intensified urban area,” and has included public feedback. He said, “There was no pushback from the community given the consultation with them.”

The report indicates that staff considered relocating the drainage infrastructure to the municipal road allowance, however, decided it wasn’t feasible to do because of constraints. “As a result, all proposed improvement alternatives will need to include land acquisition and/or easements to ensure access is maintained for future maintenance and repair of the infrastructure.”

The cost for the new drainage system is estimated at $3 million.

$2 million was allocated in the 2023 and 2024 budgets, and the Town will evaluate where the remaining $1 million will come from.

Stacey explained that it’s a “substantial project” and that staff went with what they believed to be an optimal solution with resilient pipes that should last the Town 75 years. “It will likely take us three years to complete.”

Councillor, Randy Jorgensen, inquired about the criteria for the option staff recommended to Council. He asked, “Is what you’re recommending… Is that based on the impact or a dollar value approach?

Stacey indicated that it was the most expensive approach. He said, “It’s in the interest of safety for the community… It’s intended to be the least impacting on the community in the long-term.”

Jorgensen inquired about whether the Town can use funding from development charges for the project.

Director of Financial Services, Ross Jeffery, advised that they would have to look into whether they can use development charges for this purpose.

Mayor, Heidi Lorenz, inquired about whether this would qualify for a grant like some of their other larger projects have.

Stacey agreed that it would. He said, “I will keep an eye out for an opportunity for that.”

He added that the next steps will be initiating a more detailed design and tendering.