Council deciding who's to pay for flooding problems

Halifax city council is trying to decide who should pay to fix a decades-old flooding problem.

City proposes splitting the bill among Halifax Water, HRM and homeowners

Homes on Matador Drive in Lower Sackville often flood following a melt or rain event, forcing storm water and sewage into people's basements.

Halifax city council is trying to decide who should pay to fix a decades-old flooding problem.   

Melting snow in two areas of the municipality — Matador Drive in Lower Sackville and Cow Bay Road — cause basements to flood worse than other places within the Halifax Regional Municipality.  

Sewage and storm water has backed up twice in 13 months in Leah Borland's mothers home on Matador Drive. Borland said fixing it is complicated and expensive.  

"They want the homeowners — which are victims — to go in on it, which is ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous," she said.  

Newer, bigger underground storm pipes would fix the problem. At a council session Tuesday, the city proposed splitting the bill three ways among Halifax Water, the municipality and the homeowners.     

"We're looking at almost 10,000 dollars a home," said District 3 Coun. Bill Karsten.  

Karsten said the proposed fix isn't fair. 

About 20 homes in his district on the Cow Bay Road flood regularly during heavy rains or thaws. But the bill for the new pipes would have to be shared by all 94 homes in the subdivision. Some would pay to fix a problem they don't have.  

"So for 74 people to pay $10,000 and not have a direct benefit certainly doesn't sit well with me, nor will I support it," he said.  

Marie George said her basement has flooded in the past, but not as bad as her neighbours along Cow Bay Road.  

She said she doesn't think she should have to pay.       

"Since we just moved in here I don't feel it's our problem," said George. "The city should have fixed the problem in the first place and not try to pawn it off on everybody else."