Global warming is packing a pricey punch on the streets of Montrose.
The matter of climate change was at the core of a council discussion Monday evening because the phenomenon’s impacts could soak up considerable taxpayer dollars next year.
The village presently collects $52.50 in a drainage parcel tax, which provides Montrose about $24,000 annually to upgrade its storm sewer system.
More frequent sudden and severe weather systems has lead to increased localized flooding and erosion, which is a pattern that is expected to worsen in the future.
Under council’s direction, Montrose staff had a local engineering firm complete a stormwater management plan that mapped and assessed the village’s existing infrastructure and included strategies to deal with an abundance of rainwater.
“The plan identified many deficiencies within the system including several under capacity pipes,” explained Kevin Chartres, Montrose’s chief administrative officer (CAO). “Replacement of these pipes would require a major investment by the village, and for this reason, the plan focused more on affordable localized issues.”
Chartres presented a few options for council to consider that focused on immediate at-risk streets which includes the area north from Third Street and east from Ninth Avenue.
In that zone, the stormwater management report suggests that an artificial swale would manage water runoff and increase rainwater infiltration.
The project would cost about $33,000 and include regrading the lane way and constructing a section of asphalt swale to minimize erosion.
Another pricier step, costing $53,000, includes a pipeline video inspection and storm sewer cleaning that would rate the system’s overall condition and detail any localized issues.
“Under capacity pipes have been performing adequately for decades with minor issues,” explained the CAO. “More frequent and intense storm events have been occurring…these events may begin to increase the incidents of localized flooding and erosion.”
As an example of the increased fallout of intense storms, Chartres referred to a September downpour that caused roadway flooding at Third Street and Ninth Avenue.
“The condition of these pipes is unknown and flushing a video inspection is scheduled in 2015 according to the plan,” he said. “This will help determine if the village will need to focus resources on replacement of these pipes as a priority.”
Another option for council to consider is a $28,000 fix in the vacant lot adjacent to the gas station on the village’s main drag.
The area consistently ponds during rainfall events and snowmelt in addition to sediments blocking the wastewater pipes.
“This issues causes significant icing of the lane way and can be a safety hazard at times for vehicular and foot traffic,” Chartres added.
With construction season coming to an end, council agreed to review the possibility of combining some of the improvements and deferring monetary decisions until next year’s budget development.
“I think this is good,” said Montrose Mayor Joe Danchuk. “Because it will give us a little more money to do something bigger next year.”