I met with the City Engineer today to discuss the following issues:

(1) Update on current capital projects and those on the horizon for Ward 7

(2) Need to improve Banwell Road from Tecumseh Road East to Mulberry with streetlights, road expansion, multi-use trail

(3) I raised the idea of conducting a micro-study of a neighbourhood – such as Vanderbilt/Sandpoint streets – to (i) investigate how resilient are individual properties to flooding by checking things like grading, backwater valves, downspout disconnection etc. (ii) investigate City infrastructure and potential improvements that could be introduced.  The micro-study could be used as a pilot or demo for other neighbourhoods that have experienced flooding

(4) Flood mapping for Little River Corridor

(5) Need to expedite dyke improvements in Little River Corridor in order to protect homeowners against overland flooding – a risk that could have materialized had the major storm of August 29-30 tracked just a short distance east over the Little River Corridor

On Friday, September 8th – I had the privilege of joining a small group of folks gathered at the corner of McHugh & Cypress – just a stone’s throw from the Village of Aspen Lake Nursing Home – to honour the life and work of the late Rev. Charles Payne who was a tireless and fearless advocate for the inclusion and empowerment of all people with disabilities and a champion for the removal of barriers in the City of Windsor and beyond.

A plaque was unveiled in Rev. Payne’s honour at the foot of a newly planted tulip tree – made possible by the generous contribution of Windsor residents through the Ward 7 Fund.

Special thanks go out to the people who were part of our little planning committee who made this day possible: MPP Percy Hatfield, Pat Delmore & Steve Habrun from Transit Windsor, City Forrester Paul Giroux, Accessibility & Diversity Officer Gayle Jones of the City of Windsor, the Windsor Accessibility Advisory Committee, Councillor Ed Sleiman, as well as Joanne Potts and the amazing staff of the Villages of Aspen Lake Nursing Home.

Beautiful memories and words were shared by many – including a moving tribute by Rev. Payne’s daughter that left not a dry eye among the gathered.

The text of the short speech I shared can be found after the photos by clicking the hyperlink.

 

Payne 1 Payne 2 Payne 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the days after last year’s devastating flood on September 29, 2016 – in which over 3,000 homes were flooded mostly in Wards 6 & 7 – I submitted to City Council what I call 20 Questions Plus - formal questions asking the City Engineer to explain the cause of the flood, the City’s response and the steps necessary to address the challenge of basement flooding in the future.

I am posting this as it contains some excellent information, and it may help answer some of the questions you have.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any additional questions yourself: irek@citywindsor.ca

To:  Mayor and Members of City Council

 Subject:  2016 Flooding Event Debrief Report and Response to CQ46-2016, CQ47-2016, CQ54-2016 and CQ57-2016

Author: City Engineer     Date to Council:  January 23, 2017

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

On Thursday September 29, 2016 a severe and extreme rainstorm event occurred in the City of Windsor resulting in rainfall amounts of up to 230mm in the hardest hit areas of the City. This rainfall event exceeded the 1:100 year design storm and in some areas, amounted to 144% of the amount of precipitation normally received during the month of September. The City’s sewers, drains, ponds and outlets functioned as designed but were overwhelmed by the extraordinary volume of rainwater, leading to flooded roads, basements and ponds that spilled onto adjacent properties.  A total of 2853 callers reported incidences of flooding to 311 during the event and in the days following.

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I met with the Mayor today in his office to discuss:

1. The new Mountabatten Development

2. Flooding

a. Discussed the potential hiring of a full time Resiliency & Climate Adaptation Officer

b. Discussed options to increase uptake of the downspout disconnection program – including the potential of making the disconnection program mandatory as in Toronto

c. Discussed making the 100 per cent subsidy for backwater valves, sump pumps etc. avaialble to all residents who got flooded including those who experienced flooding in 2016 in Ward 7

 

Enjoyed a great ride today – and the opportunity to talk to residents as well as get a street level view of what needs work and what is working well in our neighbourhood.

Ward_7_Cycle_August_12_2017

I met with the Mayor in his office today to discuss the following:

1. Sandpoint Beach improvements – especially the ugly chainlink fencing that was erected in the water along half the length of the beach which seriously degrades the beauty of the beach.  I also shared photographs of the poor state of the beach.

2. Banwell Road

a. Mentioned the structural rating of Banwell Road – which puts it in the Now Deficient category.  This is concerning since there are 19,900 daily vehicles using that road

3. Accelerated Playground Replacement e.g. Flora, Bush Park etc.

a. I was delighted to learn that the Parks Department will be putting forward a report which recommends using part of the money set aside for a new downtown parking garage – about $4 million out of $7.2 million – to accelerate the replacement of the neighbourhood playgrounds.  Since I voted against the $7.2 million parking garage in 2014, I was delighted to see that money used for a better purpose.

Replacing the 28 old, expired and unsafe playgrounds that had been removed in 2016 & 2017 is easily one of the top issues that residents have contacted me about.  It is about investing in existing infrastructure and assets.

4. Community Benefits for the new Gordie Howe Bridge

Today I biked both Forest Glade and East Riverside on my Ward 7 Walk & Ride.

I checked out the road work – milling & paving – that is taking place on Wildwood and Esplanade – and I made a note of the fact that Kerby & Chestnut can use a road refresh.

The Lakeshore Woods (newly renamed Banwell Park) playground was absolutely packed with families today – as it is every day!

Love the terrific off-road bike trails that Parks has freshly mowed along John’s Pond.

Here is my route today.

And – as always – don’t hesitate to wave me down for a chat if you see me barreling down your street!

 

Ward_7_Cycle_-_August_7_2017_a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AND….

Ward_7_Cycle_-_August_7_2017_b

 

In the summer – I like to get out on my bike and tour Ward 7.

I like to check in on road work and other capital projects that are in the process of being completed such as the walking trails at Forest Glade Optimist Park.

I also like to talk to neighbours on their porch or in the parks – ask them how things are in their neighbourhood, what recent investments they approve and where they would like to see improvements and investments.

Here is a map of today’s ride in Forest Glade.  Don’t hesitate to wave me down for a chat if you see me zipping along your street.

Ward_7_Cycle_-_August_2,_2017

As we transition from emergency and recovery mode – it makes sense to start the process of reviewing the state of our storm and sanitary system. We got the ball rolling at City Council on Monday with a few questions and followed this up by additional questions submitted to the City Engineer – SEE BELOW. I invite you to share with me questions and concerns you would like raised at City Council and with our City Engineer regarding last week’s rainfall and flood.

(1) What is the status of Stormwater and Sanitary Master Plan – timeline for completion?

(b) What resources are necessary to expedite/prioritize the completion of the Plan?

(2) Livelink #15549 (2012) report calls for a comprehensive Stormwater Management Strategy -
Where are we on that?

(3) After the last major flood in 2011 – the Town of Tecumseh hired an independent engineering consulting firm – Dillon Consulting – to prepare a Sanitary Sewage Collection System Improvements Class Environmental Assessment. It has 167 pages that reviews capacity, performance and provides recommendations.

a. Has the City of Windsor conducted a Sanitary Sewage Collection Improvement EA?
b. What resources would be necessary to proceed with a similar EA in East Windsor?

(4) City has 43 pumping stations – 8 sanitary; 29 storm; 6 combined. Can you confirm that all 43 pumping stations working on September 28, 29 & 30?

(5) The City constructed a $60 million downtown Retention Treatment Basin (RTB) in 2012.
a. Is East Windsor connected to the Retention Treatment Basin?
b. Would a retention basin on the East End help in this situation?
c. Would it relieve pressure on Little River Pollution Control Plant?

(6) What percentage of our 1700km of sewers have been analyzed using CCTV – for anomalies such as cross-connections and deficiencies leading to infiltration? In your Professional Opinion – can more be done? What resources are necessary to expedite CCTV in East Windsor?

(7) Little River Pollution Control Plant (LRPCP) – treats sanitary from Windsor (east of Pilette) through East Windsor to Town of Tecumseh – co-called Zones 2, 4,5,6,8,11,12 correct?

a. Could we collaborate with the Town of Tecumseh on a joint Master Plan and/or join EA for sanitary improvements – since our systems are so linked together?
b. Can LRPCP handle flows from Tecumseh and Windsor as is?

(8) Confirm that Emergency Bypass Gate at Little River Pollution Control Plant allows water to bypass Secondary Treatment and be discharged directly to Detroit River in times of heavy flow.
a. When is it opened?
b. What happens?
c. Key Question – what time was bypass activated on Thursday/Friday?

(9) In 2010 – the Little River Pollution Control Plant bypassed 514 million litres of water because LRPCP was at capacity. In 2011 – LRPCP bypassed 2.1 billion litres of water – representing a 311 per cent increase. Why is that?
a. Does LRPCP have a capacity problem? Will it have a capacity issue with future development – if so, when?
b. LRPCP has primary treatment capacity of about 27,000 cubic metres/day whereas Lou Romano Water Reclamation Plant has 273,000 cubic meters/day. 10 times more. Is that an issue? Should LRPCP capacity be increased to accommodate new development?

(10) How many employees do we have conducting sewer maintenance on our 900km of sanitary sewers? What do they do? How much do we spend? How long does it take for one clean cycle? Is that standard across cities?
a. In June 2010 – there was flooding in Ward 8 – and part of it was attributed to a giant grease ball that caused a blockage. Can we rule out blockages as contributing factor in Ward 7 floods?

(11) Backwater valves have been mandated on all new builds since 2012 – correct?
a. I talked to residents who had it installed – and yet still got flooded. Can you explain?
b. How many backflow valves have been installed – and in your professional opinion can we do better to get more uptake on this program? What is required to expedite backflow valve installation across East Windsor?

(12) In 2012 – a report recommended that the City purchase 20 permanent flow monitors and hire a consultant so that the City can collect data on sewer flows and create computerized models that show inefficiency and infiltration.
a. Where are we on this? What is the data showing us?

(13) Where are we on updating Intensity Duration Frequency (IDF) curves for the City of Windsor?

(14) About $500 million is required to separate sewer and sanitary. Currently spending $10 million per year? How long would it take to accomplish this? In your Professional Opinion – is this sufficient?

(15) Where are we on the downspout disconnection program?

a. 2012 report states: “Had downspouts been disconnected during the previous (2011) major flood events, then most of the basements flooded would not have. A 10% reduction in water volume heading to the sanitary sewer would greatly reduce instances of basement flooding”.
In your professional opinion – do we need more resources to expedite downspout disconnection?
b. How much are we spending per year on downspout disconnection?
c. How much does it cost to treat stormwater every year

(16) The retention pond at Blue Heron Lake & Troupe Crescent both crested and/or overflowed.  As City Engineer you stated that the retention ponds did what they were designed to do. If capacity is not an issue at these individual retention ponds – is it possible additional retention capacity in Ward 7 is necessary or would have been beneficial?
(b) Had intense rains continued onto Friday/Saturday as forecast – with Blue Heron and Troupe Crescent retention ponds at capacity – where would the water go? What would be the outcome for residential basements without additional retention capacity?