Windsor's mayor has hashed out a plan to improve Windsor’s Sewer System in the short term as engineers work to identify bigger-picture issues with the infrastructure.
It’s in the wake of the worst flooding event in the city’s history. More than 200mm of rain fell on Windsor and the surrounding areas over a 24 hour period last week, washing out major streets and letting water into basements across the city.
As of Monday, 5,302 people have reported property flooding to the city of Windsor. 1,200 of those homes are in the Riverside area.
"As a result of the major flooding situation last week, it became apparent that we needed to come up with an action plan that council might be able to support,” said city engineer Mark Winterton.
After consulting with staff, Mayor Drew Dilkens unveiled an eight-point plan during Tuesday night’s council meeting.
"There are some things that we need to do to try to ensure that these things don't happen again," Dilkens said.
The plan calls for the city to review development policies as it relates to sewer management -- to ensure the system can handle increased development.
As promised, it also calls for 100 per cent funding of the basement flooding protection program, up to $2,800.
"We know we'll get more response when it's covered at 100 per cent, and we went to make sure the priority homes for that program are the homes that flooded."
The city will also investigate adding the disconnection of weeping tiles from the storm sewer -- and sewage ejection pumps to the basement subsidy program.
"The only real way to protect yourself from the sewers that are going to surcharge when you have an event like this is to protect yourself at the base level,” says Winterton.
Windsor may also make the free and voluntary downspout disconnection program mandatory, with exemptions on a case-by-case basis.
Other parts of the plan include expediting the riverside vista project between St. Rose Avenue and Ford Boulevard -- at an additional cost of $7 million.
Dilkens of course wants to expedite the sewer master plan so council can move forward with longer-term solutions.
He'd also like to see the province establish a provincial insurance plan that will allow residents to purchase affordable flood insurance where no other option is available.
“It's really a provincial role to provide support to residents who want to buy insurance, but it's just not offered to them through their insurer," Dilkens says.
The mayor expects the eight-point plan will get the full endorsement of council.
"I don't think there's anything on here that's contentious. I think all members of council appreciate and recognize the damage, they've seen it first hand for themselves, they're heard it from the residents. I think it's a reasonable approach."