• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

The Town forgot to drain the swamp

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In Council Watch
Oct 9th, 2013
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from the New Tecumseth Times 

Dear editor:

Re: article printed in the Oct. 3rd edition of The Times regarding Lynn and Glen Potts

I read about the ongoing plight of Lynn and Glen Potts. It is a very unfortunate situation for this couple which was not brought on by them in any way shape or form.

Unfortunately, this sort of situation and or dilemma is not new to Beeton. Flooding and sewer back ups have plagued our town since I arrived here more than 35 years ago!

In more recent years, in my view, most if not all of Beeton’s flooding woes have been brought on by allowing development of properties in a water saturated area without first installing sufficient drainage. Without sufficient drainage, building projects force the existing ground water to disperse out to other drainage areas. This is exactly what happened when the homes on Center St north were flooded out. The cause was mainly due to excess water pressure from the building of homes on Hains St., set on higher ground, compounded by an aged sewer system unable to cope with the extra water pressure. Its common knowledge that Beeton was originally built on a swamp and water tables in this area have always been very high. Much of the town was designated as a Moraine area with EP (environmental protected) areas including Hains St and surrounding area. If my memory serves me correctly, back in the early 1980’s prior to the development of the properties east of Center  St,  between Lilly and English a large part of the these properties was owned by  then developer Bert Fava. Mr. Favor applied for building approval to develop this property but was turned down unless he installed a major, new and secondary drainage culvert from English to Lilly St.

Mr. Favor believed this was the Towns responsibility and after a loosing battle with the Town sold his property to another developer where it sat for many years. I don’t know what the current plan for drainage in Beeton is, nor to this day am I aware of any additional drainage culvert being installed between English and Lilly St to drain these properties as originally requested?

How does this happen, who has responsibility? Of course town planners set the guide lines for development which I’m sure are very correctly and precisely drawn up and which  builders are suppose to follow. However; when “push comes to shove,” and additional development costs arise, builders can and do put the arm lock on towns, especially when development fees are sorely needed.

It’s quite conceivable that faced with these development delays, the powers that be can waver, and in some cases will compromise!  Now we have another case of the on going flooding of a home, directly the result of the development of adjacent land to the Potts.

It’s quite clear in my view that the Town is back in the position of “swamps and alligators”, “we should have drained it first”! Approx two years ago the excess water on this property was cordoned off in a huge water hole at the north end adjacent to the Potts property, the water was so deep it had to be wire fenced off for safety (three feet in the middle I believe). So there’s no question in my view the developer caused the Potts headache but the town also bares responsibility as it stood by and did very little while this was going on. This was not the first time this has happened in Beeton nor will it be the last, unless the Town strictly enforces policy for development of our lands and stands behind existing residents to protect them from this sort of unnecessary and excruciating anguish, isn’t this is what we pay our council for!

Alan Masters,

Beeton

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