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?

I support the right kind of Sports Tourism – which is the reason I voted to support the OFSAA Track and Field Championship that will be hosted in Windsor this summer.

The City was asked to provide about $10,000 in support – about half in-cash and half in-kind – by the local organizers.

In exchange – the tournament will draw about 5,000 people to the City of Windsor.

Two things make OFSAA an appealing sports tourism draw the City should support:

(a) The organizers take on 100 per cent of the risk of organizing the event – which means no City staff are required to operate the event.

(b) The organizers are on the hook for the financial cost of the event – with City providing a small amount of support or leverage

(c) These Ontario championships will draw people from Ontario and hence potential repeat visitors –  since travel is shorter, easier and less expensive

(d) The return-on-investment (ROI) can be measured and documented – providing taxpayers with a high level of accountability and transparency

(e) The return-on-investment (ROI) is significant – both in terms of tourism, economic development and branding

Taken together – the City is getting one heckuva good return on it’s $10,000 investment.  See you at the starting blocks!

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I attended a meeting of the Public School Board – along with my Council Colleagues Rino Bortolin and Chris Holt – to get a better understanding of the Board’s thinking surrounding the latest recommended Program and Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) process which – once commenced – would review the viability of seven schools in the City’s core.

I firmly believe that the City and School Boards should work together to cultivate closer collaboration and coordination – and that collaborative approach is perhaps most sorely needed when the issue of school closures arises because the impact of school closures resonate far beyond school walls and beyond school board chambers.

Anne Jarvis of the Windsor Star put it best in her article titled “The Cost of Closing Core Schools” when she writes:

But an elementary school is the heart of a neighbourhood. If it closes, it leaves a chasm. The board and the city are partners, trustees are realizing. A vibrant neighbourhood and a successful school depend on each other.

The Board and the City ARE partners.  With a greater awareness of this fact and sustained leadership from both sides, the lines of communication can be opened up – and not only could alternatives to school closures be potentially found, but other opportunities for synergy could be identified- most notably through the concept of Community Hubs promoted heavily by the Province of Ontario.

For the entire Jarvis article – CLICK HERE

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Many residents walking along the Multi-Use Trail (MUT) at the foot of Banwell Hill along Radcliff Road will likely notice that after a rainfall the run-off from the hill brings mud onto the multi-use trail rendering it very slippery.

I have made our Parks Department aware of this problem and the City will be implementing a fix that will keep the mud from the trail.  In the meantime – please be cautious when the MUT is wet.

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“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”

 - Rainer Maria Rilke

Residents of East Riverside and Forest Glade appreciate the diversity and beauty of our many parks – where one can expand the lungs and rest the eyes.  Here are a few scenes from a recent walk.