FLOOD PROOFING VIRDEN: UARCD
The manager of the Upper Assiniboine River Conservation District (UARCD) briefed the new Virden Town council at their first meeting of 2019 on work being done to reduce the flood risk in the Virden area.
Ryan Canart shared details of a hydrological modeling project that examined Virden’s watershed, an area of 940 square kms. west and north of Virden that sends water into town. Understanding the watershed is key to understanding what to do about floods like the ones in 2011 and 2014.
The study looked at three variables that can affect water flows: soil carbon levels that help the land retain water; prairie potholes that store water; and dry dams on the Gopher and Bosshill Creeks that control flood waters by releasing them more slowly.
Canart said the study found that “parking water to the west of town is one key investment against flooding in Virden.”
He said the UARCD has already built five dams on Gopher Creek and needs funding for several more to mitigate future flooding in town. He presented this briefing to bring new councillors up to speed on the UARCD’s work.
VIRDEN SKATEPARK UPDATE
At the meeting, members of the Virden Skatepark committee gave council a progress report and asked the town for help.
Lynnette Grumpelt says the group has raised about two thirds of the funds needed to build the $250,000 facility that will go up near TOGP.
Grumpelt said, “We could have it built by this fall, the builder is ready to go, but we need that commitment of funding.”
Town officials plan to meet with the committee to discuss it further. Mayor Murray Wright said, “We can’t guarantee anything but will put it into the budget and go from there.”
Deputy Mayor Tina Williams says gift-in-kind work may also be offered by the town to help the skate park reduce its costs.
Meanwhile, the Skatepark group continues to fundraise and seek out grants.
TOGP SAFETY UPGRADE
Handrails will soon be installed in the arena at Tundra Oil & Gas Place.
The Town of Virden says time is running short but they hope most or all of the railings can be in place in time for the Viterra Curling Championship in early February.
The handrails will be installed on the concrete steps accessing the rows of spectator seating.