Rocanville calls for public consultation on pond and park development

·5 min read

The Town of Rocanville is calling for public consultation with the construction of a new retention pond located on the east side of town, next to the mine road.

The town is hoping to create a dual purpose with the pond as it needs to be fenced off. Because of this, the Town of Rocanville is proposing the area would also be walking trails as well as an off-leash dog park.

Rocanville Town Council will be voting on the proposal on April 21st and are asking members of the public to visit the town office or email their concerns to rocanville.town@sasktel.net.

Town of Rocanville administrator Monica Pethick says that the town needs to build the pond to help alleviate flooding on Robin Avenue.

“When we get heavy rainfall, the water collects at the bottom of Robin Avenue. We have a nice blacktop road there and we have one lady who lives at the end there that quite often has a lake at the end of her house as opposed to a driveway.”

She explains that the town is considering giving it an additional purpose.

“It is primarily a retention pond to alleviate flooding. As a result of the fact that there is deep water there, we have to fence it. We are utilizing that facility to create an off-leash dog park. Our funding was granted because it’s to do with flooding issues. It didn’t create a dog park, it was a retention pond and the dog park came as a result of the retention pond.”

Because the primary use of the pond will be to alleviate flooding, the Town of Rocanville was able to use funding through the Federal Gas Tax Fund.

The funding will cover a majority of the $341,000 price tag for the retention pond.

Pethick says they were able to find a good location for the pond last fall.

“We engaged engineers last fall to have a look and get levels for us to see. The pond will be put in not only the low spot in the area but also not around the trees because we didn’t want to take down a lot of trees or bush area. So they accommodated what is an open spot there to put the pond in where they can align the drainage.”

Drainage ditches that are currently in place will be used to drain water from Robin Avenue and then will be redirected past Mercer Street and into the pond’s location through a new drainage ditch.

The pond will also be utilized to help provide water to the Rocanville Golf Course for its irrigation.

“We can use this rainwater to assist the golf course in refilling their ponds. If the pond is full, we can then pump it across to the golf course to help with their dugouts and their irrigation. Then if they can’t deal with it or we can’t deal with it we won’t flood them out. It will go down the normal drainage ditch. It goes down an existing culvert then the water goes north, then it hits a normal runway that goes out of town.

“It won’t get pumped there, it will just overflow and go through the normal system basically.”

But the Town of Rocanville requires public consultation to see if the public approves of their plans to utilize the retention ponds area as an off-leash dog park.

Pethick says the town will either be able to open it as a dog park or fence it off entirely.

“There was a lady who came out of the city and said that if we alleviated the flooding, could we have an off-leash. There’s been a request for an off-leash for a couple of years because we have a lot of dogs in town. So that’s where this idea came from.

“Because it’s a pond that has to be fenced, it makes absolute sense that we’d make a bigger area for a pond. There are concerns that it is a deep pond and should it be accessible to the public, or should we just fence the whole thing off.”

She says that even though the pond will be stepped it will still be deep, which is a cause for concern with some residents.

“If we have enough objections we will fence the pond so that it’s not accessible to anybody, then there wouldn’t be an off-leash dog park unless people want to put up another fence. That is the issue. Because the water is so deep we have to fence it off, it can’t just be an open pond.”

Another idea that was brought to the town was the use of walking trails that would move through the fenced-off area. The walking trails are planned to start outside of the retention pond area and run through the area with a bridge over the drainage ditch.

Council has approved the walking trail project and will be moving forward with it when the weather permits.

“With the COVID lockdown, they’re looking for places to walk. they can’t leave town but they want to exercise. So their idea is to put a couple of extra gates in there and over a period of time put some walking paths to and from that area.

“We might have a fountain in the pond, later on, we will have a picnic table there, some benches along the way. We also have applied for grants under the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative. We applied for a grant there with a maximum grant of $250,000 to assist with the walking trails.”

The Town of Rocanville is still waiting for the grant to be approved.

Pethick says that she and Recreation Assistant Kelly Woywada will be marking a place to start the path soon.

“As soon as the weather warms up enough, Kelly and I will go out and pick a spot to say this is where we’re starting a path. Unfortunately, the rec girls, because it’s going to be their project eventually, are going to have to get council approval on where the path is. They’re rather busy getting the pool ready at the moment, but we’re thinking in May they’ll start with where the walking trails are going to be.

“There’s just a lot of trees in that plan we’ll have to see about first.”

Spencer Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator