Windsor Salt says supply for plant will run out in 5-10 years, will ask council to access reserves

Windsor Salt is set to appear before council Monday to ask for approval to access deposits under the city. Council will also consider a contract for e-scooters and hear from ERCA on $300,000 lost to a fraudster.

Council will also consider e-scooter contract, ERCA to address $300K lost to fraudster

Windsor City Council is scheduled to hear from ERCA and Windsor Salt on Monday. (Jonathan Pinto/CBC)

Windsor Salt says the current supply for its evaporation plant will only last another five to 10 years. The company is set to appear before council Monday to ask for approval to access other deposits under the city.

The company employs 350 people at the plant and the Ojibway Mine, according to a presentation included in the council agenda.

The company produces evaporated salt used for household and food items, and rock salt, which is used for water softening and industrial purposes such as melting snow and ice.

But the lifespan of the salt stock the company has been tapping for more than a century is running low.

"The supply of salt that we currently source from salt reserves under the city will only sustain production at our Windsor evaporative salt plant for another five to 10 years," reads the presentation.

Windsor Salt needs access to further reserves in order to secure its future.

Windsor Salt is asking council to work with the company to access further salt reserves. (Google Maps)

The company says some of the "best and most accessible" deposits are under land owned by the city and province.

It's suggesting a collaboration between the three parties to identify the best locations, process permits and ensure mineral rights where necessary.

The company is asking for a resolution from council directing staff to work with it to "identify  sustainable solutions that can secure the long-term future" of the evaporation plant.

Windsor Salt goes on to say that it's project will comply with environmental and licensing requirements.

E-scooters could be here by summer

Council will be considering a number of other projects and presentations on Monday.

Among them is a report recommending council award a contract to Bird Canada Inc. to operate an e-bike and e-scooter program in the city.

The pilot project was approved last February, but discussions about rollout were deferred until spring 2021 because of the pandemic. The report council will receive follows a request for proposals.

"I'm excited to see what will happen," said Ward 9 Coun. Kieran McKenzie on Friday.

The project will cover a roughly 23 km from the Riverfront to Tecumseh Road and between Prince and Drouillard roads.

Bird's proposal includes 500 e-scooters and 100 e-bikes, according to the council agenda.

McKenzie said he's curious to see how people use the e-scooters and bikes, whether it be for recreation along the waterfront or as a commuter option.

What will happen next depends on council's decision, said McKenzie, but he added some groundwork around the agreement has been worked out, meaning residents may be able to start using the scooters by late spring or early summer.

ERCA to address loss of $300K

The chair and CAO of the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA) will also appear before council to address the loss of $300,00 to a phishing scam where a fraudster pretended to be an internal staff member. 

Two transactions were made to two falsified bank accounts, the first being an e-transfer of $61,876 on July 14, followed by a second request on July 27 for a massive amount of approximately $230,865. 

ERCA's general manager, Richard Wyma, resigned from his role in September.