WARD 7 – ENHANCED CAPITAL BUDGET SUBMISSION

In recent Capital Budgets – there is $10 Million that has not been allocated by Administration.  In other words – that funding is available.

Every year the Mayor invites Councillors to submit a list of capital projects for their Wards for the Mayor’s consideration – above-and-beyond those recommended by Administration in the Capital Budget.

The following is a list of the projects I submitted to the Mayor – which is broken down into levels of priority: Highest, High & Medium Priority.

As you may notice – the majority are related to key infrastructure improvements (roads) in addition to safety (lighting), quality of life (parks, tennis courts) and neighbourhood beautification (gateway median enhancement).

Please keep in mind – this is not an exhaustive list of priority projects in Ward 7.  They were submitted knowing that the available funding is limited since the $10 million will be divided between the ten (10) City Wards.   Hence this list provides the Mayor with flexibility to determine what projects make the Mayor’s List submitted to City Council for consideration during budget deliberations on January 15 & 16.

I invite you to share your feedback: irek@citywindsor.ca

PROJECT PRIORITY COST
Banwell Road Improvements – Tecumseh Road E. to Mulberry: Design Engineering Highest $900,000
Banwell Road Lighting – Tecumseh Road to Mulberry Highest $70,000
Washroom at Elizabeth Kishkon Park High $400,000
Greenpark Avenue – Median Improvement High $20,000
Mill & Pave  – Briarbank Drive High $340,000
Mill & Pave – Mulberry Court High $135,000
Forest Glade Tennis Courts – Repair of six (6) courts High $600,000
Sandpoint Beach – Shoreline Repair EA Medium $150,000
TOTAL $2,615,000

 

HIGHEST LEVEL PRIORITY

Banwell Road Improvements from Tecumseh Road E. to Mulberry AND Banwell Road Lighting:

Project: Design Engineering                                      Project: Banwell Road Lighting Installation
Cost: $900,000                                                            Cost: $70,000

Banwell Road is a critical arterial for one of the fastest growing residential areas of the City – Ward 7 – with approximately 19,900 cars traveling this road every day.

Residents have expressed serious Safety and Quality of Life concerns related to the lack of some basic but important infrastructure on this critical arterial which includes:

  • Lack of street lighting – this safety concern is pronounced during dark winter months and during rain or snow when it is difficult to see the road
  • Lack of sidewalks and multi-use trails for pedestrians/cyclists – parents with young schoolchildren walk the gravel shoulders to get to the bus stop on the gravel shoulder
  • The need to expand Banwell Road from two (2) lanes to four (4) lanes to handle the increasing traffic flow

This dark corridor is also home to a Nursing Home, a Children’s Day Care, numerous businesses and of course a bus stop – which accentuate the safety and accessibility concern.

Safety is one concern – but the lack of pedestrian/cycling infrastructure also prevents the use of active transportation on this key North-South corridor that could connect residents to nearby parks & recreation (e.g. Elizabeth Kishkon Park; Wildwood Park; Blue Heron Lake; Ganatchio Trail; McHugh Park; WFCU), retail (e.g. Metro grocery; Shoppers Drug Mart plaza etc.); places of worship (Banwell Community Church); schools (St. Joseph’s High School; LA Desmarais and Parkview Elementary) and health care providers (Heron Terrace; Banwell Gardens; Village of Aspen Lake).

With regards to public transit – the Banwell Road Environmental Study Report (2014) states:

“Appropriate pedestrian amenities are required on the east side of Banwell Road between Wildwood and Tecumseh Road to access the service, and on the west side owing to the amount of employment generated in this area”
It makes sense to combine the engineering design scheduled for RFP for the Banwell/Mulberry roundabout and plan the two critical projects together on this corridor.

As well – the $70,000 for the installation of street lighting would immediately address one of the major present safety concerns – the total lack of street lighting – while the design engineering moves forward.

HIGH LEVEL PRIORITY

Washroom at Elizabeth Kishkon Park:

Elizabeth Kishkon Park is a high traffic park with families and residents utilizing the newly constructed playground, the basketball courts, trails and open sports fields.  A washroom will service immediate users of Elizabeth Kishkon Park and also nearby users of the trails around Blue Heron Lake as well as Ganatchio Trail.  In short, this washroom is strategically located.

Forest Glade Tennis Courts Refurbishment:

Tennis Court

The Lou Veres Tennis Courts in Forest Glade are seriously deficient.  Tall grass grows out of long cracks throughout the courts representing a significant safety risk and reducing the quality of life that healthy courts could provide residents.  Furthermore – the entrances to the courts are too narrow to allow access for residents with disabilities.

The aim of this project is to resurface and refurbish six (6) of the nine (9) tennis courts, to restore recreational amenities, improve quality of life and to make the courts more accessible.

 

 

 

Median Improvement – Greenpark Boulevard

Greenpark

Our aim is to replicate the successful rehabilitation of the Banwell Road median for Greenpark Boulevard, which is a major gateway into the East Riverside community.

The condition of the median is poor, with about half the wells empty or containing dead trees, severe cracking of the pavement and excessive weed infiltration.  Simply – the median falls far short of City standards, does not reflect the pride-of-place of the residents of this neighbourhood, and erodes the reputation of the City.

The goal of the project is to bring this gateway median back to an acceptable standard.

 

 

 

Mill and Pave – Briarbank Drive & Mulberry Court:

Both streets are now deficient and a timely Mill & Pave will prolong their life cycle.

 

MEDIUM LEVEL PRIORITY

Sandpoint Beach – Shoreline Repair Environmental Assessment (EA)

 Sandpoint

The Environmental Assessment (EA) will provide a blueprint for shoreline improvements necessary to address safety & aesthetic concerns on the western side of Sandpoint Beach.

The EA is just one piece of the puzzle – but an important piece – for the eventual rehabilitation of Sandpoint Beach e.g. eastward shift and redesign of the park.

This project moves the ball forward in terms of risk mitigation, safety and the improvement of a high profile recreational amenity in the City that has a big impact on the Windsor brand.

It is a step in the right direction.

 

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