NewRock Developments is clearing the air over a presentation to Moose Jaw City Council on Oct. 24, 2022.  

During that presentation, The Estates at Creekstone condo board president David Paxman asked if three units could run their sump pump into the sewer system due to standing water because of draining issues.  

The presentation showed there was no storm drain in the cul-de-sac on the street. Residents have to drain water from their sump pumps to a storm drain in a grassy area but that water can drain onto the street leaving a mess of standing water.  

The request was denied because it went against The Building Bylaw. However, at the time, the city blamed NewRock Developments because the placement and the slope of the street should have been caught at the development stage.  

In a letter to the city, NewRock Developments vice-president of operations Rob Whitten said the developer followed all of the proper procedures when they designed the property and they were not consulted by the current condo board about the drainage issue before Paxman presented to city council. 

Two councillors, Coun. Heather Eby and Coun. Crystal Froese publicly apologized for blaming the developer without having the full story from both sides.  

"My apologies to NewRock. I meant no disrespect whatsoever, but sometimes we go by information provided by the people in front of us," Froese said.  

"I do apologize to NewRock for any comments that I made that may have painted them in a negative light and really do appreciate the information in their letter about how they have worked with past condo boards and how they had used all the proper geotechnical evaluations and all of that sort of stuff," Eby said.  

Whitten first clarified that their plans were designed and stamped by a civil engineer and approved by the city. He noted that NewRock followed the proper approval procedures.  

"We conducted a proper geotechnical evaluation of the lands which did not show any unusual or high groundwater levels at that time," Whitten wrote.  

Whitten said, since the ownership of the development was turned over to the condo board in March of 2017, there has been three elected condo boards.  

The letter says that NewRock had a "substantial amount" of consultation and work with the previous two condo boards to address the issue of standing water.   

"A common challenge is that owners are often divided on ideas, opinions and how to best move forward," Whitten said in his letter.  

The first condo board came to NewRock with concerns about standing water in the drainage swales. A community open house was held at one of the show homes where the owners who attended voiced their concerns to NewRock. Whitten said NewRock presented the owners with options to address the problem and let the owners decide what they wanted to do.  

At the direction of the condo board, NewRock installed French drains in specific areas.  

"These proved extremely effective in removing water from the areas where water tended to pond on site. This work was done by NewRock at no charge to the owners. Overall, the owners were happy with this design and results, but some owners did not like the appearance," Whitten's letter said.  

The second condo board was looking at ways to address the water coming from the French drains and along the parking lot. According to Whitten, the board wanted to install rock wells to direct the water underground. NewRock provided geotechnical reports, contacts and information for the board to seek additional consultation from the geotechnical engineer.  

NewRock says it was asked by the condo board president if NewRock would be willing to contribute financially to this work, but the developer declined as they weren't in a position to endorse it.  

"We understand that the owners disputed this proposed work, and the work never took place," Whitten said.  

NewRock's understanding is that Paxman was elected condo board president on April 23, 2022. To date, Whitten said Paxman had not contacted anyone from NewRock about the drainage issue or any other issues.  

Whitten said in his letter that NewRock is willing to work with the board to come up with a solution. However, the condo board would be responsible for the cost as they operate and maintain the private development. The city is responsible for the property line adjacent to the roadway, but the condo association is responsible for any issues within the property line as it is private property.