City will spend $20.4 million for storm water improvements
Our storm water infrastructure may be stressed to its limits and the City of Burlington will spend an extra $20.4 million to improve it.
The funding is one of several recommendations from the city’s Flood Vulnerability, Prioritization and Mitigation Study, conducted after the Aug. 4, 2014, flood that hit many Burlington residents living near Appleby Line.
“We’ve stress-tested our storm water drainage system across the city,” said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring. “This is the comprehensive report we have been promising the community for the last 11 months. The city is investing in flood mitigation efforts to help deal with the challenge of extreme weather.”
Council approved funds already budgeted for storm water infrastructure improvements at its meeting on Wednesday, July 15.
Council also voted to approve:
• An extension of the city’s grant program, which helps eligible homeowners cover the cost of building permit fees related to flood prevention home improvements. The program has been extended to Dec. 31, 2016.
• The addition of one full-time storm water management technician dedicated to storm water concerns, such as lot grading and drainage.
• An amendment directing city staff to report back to City Council in the fall of 2015 with funding options to finance storm drainage operations and capital costs, including a review of other Ontario municipalities that have put in place a storm water user fee.
The Flood Vulnerability, Prioritization and Mitigation Study, completed by AMEC Foster Wheeler, assessed the areas of the city impacted by the Aug. 4, 2014 flood to better understand how the city’s storm drainage system works and to look at other factors that led to flooding damage.
The city has identified an additional $20.4 million in funding over the next 10 years for storm water management capital upgrades, such as larger creek culverts and creek channel improvements.
“While there is no way to completely eliminate the risk of flooding in the city, these infrastructure improvements will enhance the level of service provided by the city’s storm drainage system and reduce the risk of future flooding,” said Scott Stewart, the city’s general manager of development and infrastructure.
“The number of extreme weather events in Southern Ontario is increasing. Together, the city and residents have a role to play in protecting our homes and businesses from extreme weather events. A planned public outreach campaign will help private property owners identify flood mitigation opportunities.”
For more information about the approved council report, visit www.burlington.ca/agendasandminutes.