Tbnewswatch Local News
Thursday July 2 2015
4:06 AM EDT
2014-08-25 at 23:57

Major upgrades

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

A master plan to reduce flooded basements, overflowing sewers and water to the treatment plant could run around $12 million over the next five to six years.

Focusing on four of the hardest hit areas from the May 2012 flood, the city's neighbourhood master stormwater and drainage study looked at existing stormwater collection, drainage issues and developed a plan to help. Northwood, the Intercity area and two parts of the East End were all studied.

It recommends the city design storm sewers, which it's spent $34 million separating from sanitary sewers since 1993 with only 14 kilometres left to go, to handle a five-year storm rather than the current two used commonly in the province.
Storm sewer upgrades, already approved for 2014 at $1.2 million, would slowly increase over the next five or so years.

Mayor Keith Hobbs asked why the city couldn't prepare for the worst-case scenario like 2012 but city engineering manager Pat Mauro said the city would have to rebuild all of its infrastructure to make that happen.

"It's not feasible," he said. 

Residents would also do their part by taking advantage of the drainage rebate program for things like sump pumps, and back-flow prevention valves.

Council approved the report.

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Arch Stanton says:
Alternatively.... just ban basements for all new buildings in known flood-zones.

8/26/2014 4:43:51 PM
combatwombat says:
to add to the hardluck outlook is the fact that people built on a floodplain years back.
Worse yet is some did not have correct sewage backflow preventers and sump pumps.
The people that did and still had trouble I hope you get every cent to help.
To the people that didnt have this stuff, why didnt you have it ??
yeah the city has an obligation up to where their services attach to your house, then its your responsibility NOT the Citys....so go cry in your own soup...
8/26/2014 4:11:24 PM
CM Punk says:
Event Centre money?
You mean the reserve fund that was pegged at $25 million late last year is dwindled down to less then 10 by now.
8/26/2014 1:15:55 PM
signman says:
Many taxpayers are beginning to realize that the city is not in a good financial position.
( The city's debt is $169 million and will be at $184 million at year's end.)

There is just so much money to go around.
Fixing the infrastructure including roads and and sewers is a high priority.

The Mayor and most members of council have been more intent on the city building an Event Centre that is not needed now.

How many taxpayers know that the work presently being done on Golf Links roads is being debentured when the money could have come out of the Renew Thunder Bay Fund as recommended by one member of council. The taxpayers will be on the hook for this beginning in 2016.

But no Mr. Commisso and company state they need the $20 million dollars in this reserve fund and about another $20 million for the proposed Event Centre.

Please its time to let the taxpayers vote on the proposed Event Centre as they are quite capable of making an informed decision.
8/26/2014 12:22:04 PM
enos012 says:
It is called a disaster for a reason. You can't plan for a 'worse case scenario' Though that storm was bad there was one 5 years earlier that was just as bad that washed away rural roads but these home got ruined because a pump failed to work. Yes some work needs ot be done but you can't expect the worst each time it's going to rain. The city blew it snow plow budget, why it wasn't used ot the winters I remember growing up with. You can't predict of plan for the weather you can do things to help prepare or try and alleviate some of the damage but nothing will make it perfect
8/26/2014 10:43:17 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
Yes you can plan for a worst case scenario. I do it all the time. But sometimes the worst case cannot be avoided. You try to eliminate all the other possibilities so you don't have a huge problem. Then you set up disaster recovery plans to minimize the impact as much as possible. You may not like the plan, but it is a plan and it needs to be followed when certain things happen. I'm not saying spend billions so nobody has problems, I'm saying minimize it's impact. If the city would like my help, I would gladly do it. It's not like I have not done disaster recovery plans in the past.
8/26/2014 12:31:36 PM
chbaker says:
Wow. How many times do we have to pay for a water treatment system?

Couldn't they have built it right for the millions last time?

My water bill is already through the roof, how much more can I stand?
8/26/2014 9:09:14 AM
Curious says:
They spent more time on trying to figure out if they should change the city logo. It will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in designing, reprinting new signs, etc. than on the priority of infrastructure. Ken Boshcoff already did this when he was mayor - wasted hundreds of thousands just so he could say "I did that", as he always reminds us. Yeah, well I paid for it so the residents should get the pat on the back Ken, not you. it was our hundreds of thousands spent when it could have gone to infrastructure - but then you would not have had something to brag about. We are still hearing you say - "when I was mayor.." yeah, we all remember that, and how much it cost our community - and still is! Spend the money on the infrastructure before wasting it all on the waterfront.
8/26/2014 9:01:26 AM
musicferret says:
Yikes! I wonder how this affects ongoing lawsuits against the city. Do they still total over $500m? Something like that. Haven't we just admitted that every 2-5 years that our system will not hold up and people will be flooded out?

Something stinks here.
Oh, and "Progress Now" gets comment of the day: "Note to city: get Ipsos Reid to tell us we prefer an art gallery with an iconic roof".
lol Same Ipsos Reid who called for a Tim Hudak majority just 5 days before the last election.
8/26/2014 8:25:35 AM
progress now says:
We can expect the 2012 flood to happen more frequently.

What is not feasible to admin may be feasible to its citizens. We are warned we must harden our infrastructure or house insurance may be denied.

Who cares anymore, right?.

Note to city: get Ipsos Reid to tell us we prefer and art gallery with an iconic roof.
8/26/2014 7:44:37 AM
cob says:
This will do little to reduce the peak wet weather flow to the sewage treatment plant. It will help reduce basement flooding in the study areas but much more needs to be done to eliminate overloading the STP. The risk of basement flooding remains in the study areas and elsewhere in the case of major storms; i.e. greater than a 25 year storm. The report presented was more about appeasing the public and making Administration look competent, which they are most definitely not, than in addressing the problems in a definitive way. The report laid out a 3 year timetable for remedial action in the study areas; already they were saying it might take 5 or 6, or ....? Keep your buckets handy, folks.
8/26/2014 7:20:21 AM
Jack Frost says:
Mayor Keith Hobbs asked why the city couldn't prepare for the worst-case scenario like 2012 but city engineering manager Pat Mauro said the city would have to rebuild all of its infrastructure to make that happen.

"It's not feasible," he said.

Not good enough city engineering manager Pat Mauro !!

Here's one for you Mauro...

Make it feasible with the event centre money !!

Our city's residents and their homes and businesses are the absolute priority here !!

8/26/2014 12:46:43 AM
Joey_J says:
You do realize that the funds that the city is trying to leverage from the Federal and Provincial Governments for the Event Centre are for specific Downtown core renewal projects and cannot just be applied to projects at Jack Frost's behest correct?
8/26/2014 8:16:34 AM
TBAY Opinion says:
@ Jack Frost.

I used to be one of the Big Boosters of the new Rink, but to be honest the more I see of Thunder Bay the more I think we don't need it, and obviously can't afford it.

The city infrastructure is falling apart. It is nothing short of criminal for instance that thousands of our people have to worry about raw sewage in their basements anytime it rains.

Most of us learned this year that our insurance will no longer cover water in the basement of any kind. So we are on our own next time. Oh and BTW try selling a house with toxic Mould and see how far you get.

Sorry Council. I know you were looking forward to taking your friends & family to the CITY OWNED PRIVATE BOX for concerts, but the people need the money spent elsewhere.

8/26/2014 8:26:57 AM
conker2014 says:
You have no idea what you are talking about.

To upgrade the entire storm system to provide coverage for the worst possible storm would cost BILLIONS. The highest daily rainfall in recorded history was 489mm. To account for this would mean the flood way would have to be quintupled storm sewers would have to be 5' in diameter on small streets and something like 15-20' on major collectors. We would also need a catch basin every 10 feet along the side of the street........ BILLIONS!

You say use the event center money.... HA you would need 10-20 of them to just pay for the startup. Maintenance costs would be 3-5 times what they are now for replacements so you balking at a $1million dollar loss at the event center would peanuts compared to the 50-100 million a year in annual repair and upgrade costs.

Here is one for you, designing a storm system for the worst case would multiply your property taxes 5-10 times..... Or we all could each spend $1000-$2000 on back flow prevention.
8/26/2014 10:30:51 AM
Eastender says:
Your analogy is full of ridiculous suppositions. The flooding was not the result of inadequate sized sewers, but a failure and, or, malfunction of equipment, with quite possibly negligence on someones part. That doesnt take billions of dollars to remedy. But the remedy is a much bigger priority than an unneeded, and unwanted, and unaffordable glorified hockey rink.
8/27/2014 10:33:04 AM
rolling wind says:
i agree with Jack frost...but to add to that ,lets get rid of the sunshine group from city hall..there are too many City employee's in the 100 & 200 thousand plus wage bracket...now you know why trying to upgrade our infrastructure is not feasible
8/26/2014 3:18:54 PM
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