• Ward 2 Gets $6 Million Infrastructure Renewal Approval

    During the election campaign one of the things I promised to do was to make the renewal of the Calgary, Churchill, Edmonton, Manitoba, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Whitney Street area of Ward 2 a priority.

    I was sworn in as your Councillor on December 4th. Getting started on this was my first priority and on December 5th I sat down with our City Engineer, Manager of Roads, and Director of Water and Wastewater. As you know, it is not just the roads that are in bad shape, sewer and drainage upgrades are needed as well, Whitney and Calgary Streets shouldn’t flood every time it rains. It was at this meeting that I learned that some of the drainage in the area dates back to the 1920’s and the City of London’s infrastructure renewal for this neighbourhood was not in the plans to be completed until 2029- 2030!!!

    I made it clear that wasn’t good enough. Not only had residents been led to belief for years that improvements were “just a couple of years away”, but the city was constructing a $20 million community centre in East Lion’s Park with no plan to upgrade the roads around it for another decade!

    Staff committed to work with me to do what we could to make this a priority. Every other week I checked in to see how things were coming along. It was a bigger project than you might think, because the water and sewer connections have to run the length of Churchill from over on Spruce all the way to Edmonton in order to provide proper service to your streets.

    But, the good news is this project has been moved up 10 years, and work is now scheduled to begin in 2020 and finish in 2021.

    On Monday March 18th at Council’s Civic Works Committee, I was able to put this $6 million project forward for a vote and it was passed unanimously!

    There is still work to be done before we start putting shovels in the ground. Letters will start to arrive soon in some mailboxes soon to let people know surveyors may be on your front lawns taking precise measurements, doing utility line locates, and other preliminary work in the area. Then design work has to be done. Sewers, curbs and gutters, road resurfacing, all has to be planned out to make sure we get it right, and this also has to be coordinated with the outdoor improvements happening in the park in the summer of 2020 to compliment the community centre (which, as slow as progress has been, will be opening later this year).

    Getting a project like this moved ahead 10 years isn’t something that happens very often. I think it is important that I share with you my sincere thanks to our city staff for working with me. They listened to me and they worked diligently to make this happen in what is honestly a very short time for a major change in plans. I know that two more years to get the job done still seems like a long time, but the important thing is that the process is finally underway!

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