Town accepts no responsibility

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A High Prairie business will not be getting any help from council after a sewer problem at the end of August 2021 caused damage at the business.
O’s Treats owner Tina Ostermeier wrote council March 24 asking council for “compensation to some degree” but council refused at its April 12 meeting after hearing from administration.
CAO Rod Risling said the matter was forwarded to the Town’s insurance company, who replied they were not responsible and refused to pay.
“Our insurance company has actually declined,” Risling told council.
Councillor John Dunn wanted to know why their insurance company said the Town was not at fault, but reasons were not disclosed.
As a result, Ostermeier’s letter was received for information.
Ostermeier wrote council a pipe had collapsed on Town property causing the backup into the store. The next day, the public works department came with a vacuum truck to clean the mess and assured her the work was complete.
“A week later the store began to fill with flies,” Ostermeier wrote. “We looked everywhere as to where they were coming from.”
As a result, O’s Treats closed early for the season.
Matters quickly worsened. The next day, the commercial refrigerator quit working due to flies suffocating the ventilation causing the motor to quit. Sewage also backed up into the crawl space damaging all their paper products stored below. After cleaning the mess, O’s Treats contacted their insurance company. Six months later, the Town’s insurance company took the stand they were taking no responsibility.
Ostermeier believes the incident is not O’s fault and offered a compromise.
“We feel that if the Town of High Prairie is willing to waive our property taxes for the year as well as replace our commercial refrigerator that we would be willing to clean the store ourselves,” she wrote.
Ostermeier was also open to other ideas for compensation and hoped to resolve the matter soon.
O’s Treats is already late opening for this season and has operated in High Prairie for over 20 years.

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