Northwood Stormwater Management Projects Moving Forward

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Thunder Bay City Hall and the plaza are in great shape in downtown Fort William
Thunder Bay City Hall
Councillor Mark Bentz
Councillor Mark Bentz

THUNDER BAY – CIVIC POLITICS – The recently released “Neighbourhood Master Stormwater Drainage Study” which examined the needs of the four areas of the city hardest hit by the May 2012 flood is recommending over $12 million in capital projects to improve stormwater drainage; this includes $9.3 million specifically for the Northwood Ward. This is the first of two studies that will be completed regarding stormwater management. A second study, set to begin this fall, will examine the city as a whole in terms of its future stormwater management requirements.

The Neighbourhood Study classified 22 recommended projects in the four neighbourhoods according to priority: 1, 2, 3 or 4. The projects are expected to take four to six years to complete, and 17 of the 22 projects will benefit the stormwater management system in Northwood.

Work will begin this fall in Northwood with a $1.2 million Priority 1 project that will connect the College Park area to the Neebing/McIntyre Floodway with a new 60-in. trunk storm sewer. This relief sewer will provide additional system capacity and will help reduce basement flooding in this area of the ward. This project will be completed by the spring of 2015.
Four Priority 2 projects totalling $2.8 million are recommended for Northwood and will include storm sewer enhancements on Ironwood Ave., Kensington Dr., Redwood Ave. and Edward St. Much of this work is expected to take place during the 2015 construction season pending Council approval.

Eight Priority 3 projects totalling $3.3 million are recommended for Northwood and will include work on Ryerson Pl., Fanshaw St., Conestoga St., James St., Huntington Ave., Huntington Ct., University Dr. and Vale Cres.

Finally, three Priority 4 projects totalling $2 million are recommended for Northwood and will include work on Redwood Ave., Edward St., Sherbrook St. and Dalhousie Dr.

I have advocated for and have received administrative and Council support to significantly ramp up stormwater management project spending in the budget. Allocations for stormwater management projects will increase significantly over the next couple of years to address the concerns of residents who were impacted by extreme rainfall events. In 2014 the City will be investing $2 million in stormwater-related initiatives (up from $1.4 million in 2013). In 2015 the allocation is expected to increase to $3 million, and, in 2016, it will increase again to $4.7 million. If re-elected, I will work to see that these allocations are approved by Council in future budgets so that this important work can proceed as quickly as possible.

Since the 2012 flood, much work has been done in our ward to address these concerns, including storm sewer projects on Sycamore Ave. and Cambrian Cres., and sanitary/storm sewer separations on Victoria Ave. and Arthur St. We have made great progress, but much more work needs to be done and, if re-elected, it will continue to be a focus of mine during my next term on Council.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to hear from you.

Mark Bentz
City Councillor – Northwood

Visit this link to read the full report: Neighbourhood Stormwater Drainage Report.

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