Mayor outlines $89M flood prevention plan, seeking government funding for nearly half

After an "extensive" review of the city's sewer system, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens outlined an $89-million flood mitigation plan.

The planned projects to cover Riverside and east-end of city first

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens outlines his $89-million flood prevention plan for the city on July 23, 2018. (Jason Viau/CBC)

After a rain event ravaged a large portion of the city last summer and several smaller deluges also caused problems, Windsor has a new flood plan.

Officials have determined Windsor needs about $89 million to prevent flooding in the future, and they're applying for a government grant to cover up to 40 per cent.

To figure out what needs to be upgraded and changed, the city reviewed its sewer system and capacity in the "most extensive" review it has ever done, Mayor Drew Dilkens said Monday. That review included camera and smoke testing.

"This is a huge series of capital projects," said Dilkens. "This is too important of a project to let slip by."

Dilkens said that there will be 12 projects, including renovations to the St. Paul Pumping Station, increasing its capacity by 40 per cent. 

The projects are primarily focused on the Riverside and east-end areas of the city, which were worst hit during the August 2017 flood. But Dilkens said other areas are not being "ignored" and work is still being conducted as part of Windsor's sewer master plan. 

However, moving to cover other parts of the city may take years.

During Monday's council meeting, Ward 5 councillor Ed Sleiman and Ward 10 councillor Paul Borrelli raised the question of whether the master plan will address wards outside of the primary targets.

"With respect to the rest of the city … the next council and the council after that and the council after that will have to sit in these chairs and make those decisions," said Dilkens.

He said it's not possible to mobilize all $89 million and get everything done in one year.

The city is seeking roughly $32 million in government funding for the projects. However, the mayor said council will have to come up with those funds if grants are not approved. 

Work on the projects is expected to begin next year. 

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