By Mark Squibb
CBS council last week voted to hire Stantec Consulting Ltd., the company the Town also recently hired to do an investigation into what may have caused water levels at Frog Pond to drop, to further investigate the stability of a section of land bordering Manuel’s River.
Council’s newly minted planning and development committee chairman Gerard Tilley declared a conflict of interest on the matter as he has a family member who lives in the immediate area of the river. Fellow committee member Councillor-at-Large Joshua Barrett also declared a conflict of interest, as he works for Stantec.
That left the former chairman of the committee, Councillor-at-Large Rex Hillier to resume his old duties, temporarily, to bring forward a motion to accept a “geotechnical stability assessment” completed by Stantec of the Manuels River area near Kinglet Way to Martha’s Place.
Hillier also moved that Stantec undertake a “subsurface geotechnical investigation and analysis” of slope stability along Manuels River at Martha’s Place, Flats Road, and Smith’s Place at an approximate cost of $99,500 plus HST.
“We had a landslide there two years ago and we’re still, I guess, trying to get a handle on the degree of stability of the land there,” explained Hillier. “So, the first part of this motion makes public a study that Stantec did for us, and they recommend that we move forward with further investigation.”
Hillier explained Stantec will try to determine whether the type of subsoil in the area is safe to build on.
Ward 1 Councillor Shelley Moores seconded the motion, which was approved by all remaining members of council.
Stantec is the same firm the Town hired Stantec back in July to undertake a desktop hydrology assessment of the Frog Pond in Topsail. The picturesque gully has gone dry since water and sewer lines were installed on the road last year. Stantec’s report, which was adopted by council in late December, confirmed the water and sewer work diverted the underground water flows into Frog Pond. That report did not make any recommendations on how to fix the problem, although Mayor Darrin Bent said at the time recommendations along those lines would be forthcoming.