After five years of back and forth discussions, the County of Grande Prairie has decided to take no action in regards to infrastructure issues with four homes in the Wedgewood subdivision.
The homes are slowly sinking into the Bear Creek Valley and the County released a statement Thursday claiming specific instructions in the caveat, that could have mitigated these problems, were not followed by current or previous owners.
Wedgewood homeowner Kevin Dieckmann believes this is an injustice to County ratepayers.
“This was a major test for the County to see what they were going to do for their ratepayers, and they have failed it miserably,” he said. “We could lose our houses and become broke and have to go somewhere else. But the problem is always going to be here. For them to say it’s on private land and it’s our responsibility, well, we’re not the ones who issued the permits.”
The County completed a geotechnical investigation in 2016 and the early parts of 2017, and recently shared results with affected homeowners. In Thursday’s statement they claim the investigation concluded “County land and infrastructure in the area surrounding these private properties has not been damaged nor is there an immediate threat to County land and infrastructure”.
“They say it’s not going to wreck their infrastructure, well certainly it is. If I lose my house, and my neighbours lose their houses, it is going to rip their infrastructure apart,” explained Dieckmann. “Why is it our responsibility to fix something they’re clearly negligent in? We tried to fix this problem back in 2015 without the County, and we spent a combined total of close to about $150,000 between the four homeowners. And it didn’t work.”
Dieckmann says that work was necessary – the County says it worsened the problem.
He adds, ideally, they are hoping for the County to step up to the plate, buy affected homeowners out, and turn the area into a green space.