Sunday, March 7, 2021

Erie Shore Drive closed until further notice

Chatham-Kent Council have unanimously agreed to close Erie Shore Drive until further notice.

A lengthy debate took place on Monday night, March 2, at the Civic Centre in Chatham, which included a total of 12 deputations from members of the community impacted by the decision.

West Kent Councillor Melissa Harrigan entered a successful motion for staff to adopt a bylaw to provide for the temporary closing of part of Erie Shore Drive in Harwich, effective March 9, 2020, until further notice.

Council also agreed to delegate to the General Manager of Infrastructure and Engineering Services the authority to complete all work and to make all necessary purchases to respond to unstable conditions on the Erie Shore Road and dike during the initial phase of the work.

Council also agreed to waive all requirements of the Chatham-Kent Purchasing by-law in relation to these purchases.

Harrigan also successfully moved to have administration bring a report back to Council within eight weeks, on or before April 27, 2020, including the following options:

– Preparing alternative access via a newly constructed road.

– Buy-out of property owners affected by the road closure.

– Introducing further permanent closure of Erie Shore Drive.

– Any other creative options.

Harrigan also successfully directed administration to advise the province, including all necessary ministers and the premier, of this emergency and the hardship being endured by the impacted residents and property owners.

Council also directed administration to take any and all steps necessary to have the province partner with the people of Chatham-Kent for the resolution of this matter.

“Including significant financial contribution since the Chatham-Kent municipality cannot afford to fix this problem,” Harrigan said in her motion.

“Administration to consider all options and bring a report to Council regarding steps taken and proposed next steps. Administration continue to work with the Erie Shore Drive Property Owners Association to promote transparency and dialogue, and identify a plan for how homeowners to protect their personal property,” Harrigan added.

A State of Emergency remains in place for the area.

More details, here.

Following Monday’s decision, Municipality of Chatham-Kent staff issued the contact procedures on Tuesday for residents affected by the Erie Shore Road dike emergency.

Staff says residents seeking information on how the Erie Shore Road dike emergency may affect them should call the municipality of Chatham-Kent at 519-360-1998 from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Customer service representatives will be available to direct specific calls to appropriate staff members during that time,” Municipal officials said in a press release.

“Between 8 p.m. and 8:30 a.m., residents along Erie Shore Drive who require emergency accommodation can call the Chatham-Kent Homeless Response Line at 519-354-6628. They should advise that they currently live on Erie Shore Drive.”

Callers after 8 p.m. with a non-urgent or non-housing matter should leave a message and contact information, Municipal officials say.

“Calls will be returned as soon as possible,” Municipal officials stated.

“As always, if you believe you are in an emergency, call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.”

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