High water levels in the Red River and higher than normal precipitation this spring have created challenges for the City of Selkirk in opening the pool and boat launch and cutting grass in some areas.
Travis Vandenbrand, Manager of Parks and Recreation Facilities, said the high water levels in the river made it impossible for the Selkirk Park Pool to drain water from the spring melt because the drain valve is lower than the present water level.
“In a normal year, we can open the pool valve to the river to drain the pool after the spring melt and then keep the drain open as we sweep and clean the pool basin,” Vandenbrand said.
“The valve is below the water level and that would have caused river water to fill the pool prior to cleaning.”
The city pumped the water over the banks of the Red, but with every rain event, pumping was required again. The pool is now being cleaned and filled and the city is anticipating an opening date of July 1 barring no additional unexpected setbacks.
High, fast moving water unsafe for boat launch installation and boaters
With the high and fast-moving water, installing the boat launch is unsafe for city staff and also for those who would use it.
“The temporary dike was removed recently at the launch but the high water still makes it impossible to install our docks without compromising the safety of our staff,” Vandenbrand said.
“There is also considerable risk in allowing boaters to launch their vessels without the docks with the water being at the level it’s at and flowing as fast as it is”
Water levels are being monitored and the boat launch will be put in as soon as it is safe to do so.
Weather not conductive to grass maintenance
The record rainfall experienced this spring has also made summer maintenance like grass cutting difficult. The ground is saturated due to the rain and overland flooding which delayed the start of grass cutting.
“There is ground saturation in many spots, especially Selkirk Park, and we have lost several days of grass cutting due to the rain events and inclement weather. This weather has been conducive to grass growing but not grass maintenance. There are still soft spots within the park that our mowers are unable to pass through due to the risk of getting stuck or causing ruts,” Vandenbrand said.
Dryer conditions will be necessary for mowing to resume at full force and for staff to catch up throughout the city.