Kensington has a drainage problem.
Resident Rudy Croken was at the monthly town council meeting on March 9 to express concern about flooding on Broadway Street. Two of his neighbours joined him to urge the town to take action.
Broadway Street, also called Route 20, is managed by the province and always has been, said Kensington Mayor Rowan Caseley.
Even so, the town had plans drawn up to address the flooding with storm sewers. When the province took over all road maintenance for the town, it handed over the drainage plans as well, hoping work would continue.
It’s not an engineering problem, it’s a money problem, said the mayor.
“It was going to be three-quarters of a million dollars for us, we didn’t have the money. We couldn’t afford it, plain and simple,” said Caseley.
Money or not, the floodwater has not receded for Broadway Street residents.
“I’ve been there 58 years and I’ve been cleaning the manhole since I moved there,” said Jean Pendleton.
Developments on Linwood Drive were built without stormwater management, said town officials.
Rain and snowmelt run down the hill on Maple Lane, Pleasant Street and School Street to Broadway.
The underground stormwater system isn’t keeping up and, compounding that, some ditches have been filled in without permission, said Caseley.
The issue isn’t going away. With climate change upon us, there’s more water at once, said the mayor.
“Who is to advance this issue?” Croken asked rhetorically.
“I don’t think it’s us three,” he said as he gestured to two of his neighbours in attendance.
“I think it has to be town council that has to put their shoulder to the wheel and get this thing done,” Croken said.
He has spoken to a lot of mayors looking for help with the water.
“We don’t need any more head-nodders, we’ve had enough head-nodders over the years,” he said. “What gets done?”
Croken acknowledged it would be a pricey fix but still wants the town to try to mitigate the water with smaller projects.
Caseley promised to do what he could.
“You’re right. There is a problem down there,” said Caseley.
“I will commit that we will send a letter off to the Department of Transportation and try to see if we can get something done on this sooner rather than later.”
Coun. Ivan Gallant said he was glad to see Croken’s presentation.
The flooding was a problem in 1989 when he was on council, and council installed a catch basin more than once, he said.
“It helped a little bit at the time,” said Gallant, but the water came back.
“I think we should really push it to see if we can get something done with a couple of those areas that have been creating problems for a number of years.”