Port Franks cottagers could pay between $400 and $12,000 each for flooding solutions

Submitted photo Homeowners in Port Franks may be asked to help pay for a solution to the ongoing problems associated with ice jams, like this one in 2011. A new report to Lambton Shores council suggests most homeowners would pay about $400 for either dredging the Ausable River or building up its banks, but some who would be most affected by flooding could see a bill as high as $4,000.

Submitted photo
Homeowners in Port Franks may be asked to help pay for a solution to the ongoing problems associated with ice jams, like this one in 2011.

A new report suggests cottagers in Port Franks could face bills of about $400 to help pay for flooding solutions.

But people in high risk areas, could find their wallets about $4,000 to $12,000 lighter depending on the level of funding from other governments for two proposed solutions.

Brent Kittmer, director of community services for Lambton Shores, says the municipality started looking at solutions for flooding along the Ausable River in 2010. At the time, residents were “very much opposed” to sharing the cost of any project.

The municipality hired Aecom to fully study all the options. It recently told council there could either be extensive dredging of the river floor at a cost of about $832,000 or the berms could be increased along the banks for about $711,000.

Increasing the berms would be by far the costliest solution for homeowners. The benefit would be spread among 61 properties according to Aecom. If federal or provincial funding were secured the average property owner would end up paying about $2,600. Some owners would only pay $59 and those who would benefit most would pay about $6,100.

Those numbers climb dramatically if funding can’t be secured, with the average homeowner paying about $5,200 and some cottagers facing a bill of $12,275.

Localized dredging would be less costly to the property owners, with the average cost per home of about $235 with upper tier funding or about $470 without it. Some people could still face bills in the thousands, with the maximum cost share being $3,245 with additional funding and about $6,500 without.

Kittmer says when the first report came out, council decided to take a reactive approach to flooding, firming up emergency plans and making sure Port Franks had a fully-equipped evacuation center. This study was meant to determine just what it would cost both the municipality and local homeowners to take some preventative action and council has yet to decide if either option should move forward.

“Council referred the project to an open public meeting in September in Port Franks,” says Kittmer. The consultants will present their findings “to the people who would be affected to see what the tolerance is to pay for this.”

 

 

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