Letter: Concerns raised over Lac Pelletier Lagoon project

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Editor:

It has come to our attention that some people believe we were unwilling to sell land to the RM of Lac Pelletier for a lagoon expansion for Lac Pelletier sewage.

On February 12, 2013, the RM offered us $2,000 per acre for seven acres of land adjacent to the existing lagoon. We responded to their offer asking for 10 per cent of the project cost which would have been a total land cost of between $19,700 and $28,550 based on the RM’s estimated project costs of between $197,000 and $285,500.

On June 17, 2013, the RM counter offered their original offer of $2,000 per acre. In our response to this counter-offer, on July 31, 2013 we indicated that the price we received for land was not our main concern. We indicated that our main concerns included: environmental protection of land surrounding Lac Pelletier and Lac Pelletier itself (we offered other land we own that is not on top of the lake hill to the RM on numerous occasions); investigation of grants for the project; and the lack of communication with ratepayers regarding the options.

Our environmental concerns stemmed from the existing lagoon: which had overflowed onto our pasture on numerous occasions; had to have two repairs done to the liner; and had not had regular pump-outs as proposed by the engineers of the existing lagoon. The engineers of the existing lagoon identified the avoidance of unacceptable seepage from the lagoon as a major issue because “any seepage will enter groundwater and probably migrate towards Lac Pelletier”.

We contacted the RM on numerous occasions to inquire as to whether council had reviewed our offer dated July 31, 2013 to which we were advised they had not made any decisions.

By letter dated March 26, 2014, we were advised by the RM that they had purchased alternate adjacent land closer to Lac Pelletier. A search of the title reveals that the title transferred February 14, 2014 at a cost of $100,000 for 13.15 acres. We estimate that the usable acres of the hillside parcel are four. Therefore the RM paid $25,000 per usable acre without ratepayer consultation.

The RM is holding a meeting on June 10, at the RM office at 2 p.m. to discuss special taxes for the lagoon sewage evaporation cell project and an open house on June 14, at 2 p.m. at the Lac Pelletier Hall to discuss the lagoon sewage evaporation cell project. We are urging all ratepayers to attend the meetings to ensure that the new lagoon project is done with a goal to protect Lac Pelletier and to also spend ratepayer funds in the most appropriate manner.

David Wall, Angelina Wall, and Ted Dupmeier - Lac Pelletier

Geographic location: Lac Pelletier

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