Tuesday, March 2, 2021

C-K needs senior government help to tackle shoreline issues

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent will require help from the senior levels of government in order to tackle several issues along the Lake Erie shoreline.

Chatham-Kent Council heard a presentation at Monday’s nights May 4, 2020 meeting from consultant Peter Zuzek, who presented highlights stemming from the Chatham-Kent Lake Erie Shoreline Study.

The full 180-page report can be read, here.

Council unanimously approved five staff recommendations, along with an additional recommendation moved by West Kent Councillor Melissa Harrigan.

South Kent Councillor Anthony Ceccacci told the Sydenham Current he was happy with the approval, but he recognizes the price tags will present challenges moving forward.

“The shear volume of the cost, is obviously going to be very, very difficult… it’s not going to be comprehended by the Municipal government by themselves,” Ceccacci said.

“We really need to take this to the upper tiers of government to ensure we’re getting as much financial support as possible.”

Listen to Councillor Ceccacci’s full interview with Dana Haggith, below:

The recommendations approved by Council, include:

– Chatham-Kent prioritize the most vulnerable areas along Lake Erie and proceed with the following: develop a long-term plan for Erie Shore Drive following the Drainage Act, continue on-going maintenance efforts to protect and maintain the dike along Erieau Road opposite St. Anne’s Church, incorporate the findings of the subject study and complete the Environmental Assessment for the Talbot Trail realignment and report back to Council, incorporate the findings of the subject study and complete the Environmental Assessment for Rose Beach Line and report back to Council.

– Administration continue to seek funding from both the Provincial and Federal governments to assist with significant flooding and erosion challenges facing Chatham-Kent.

– Administration initiate discussions with the Provincial Government to obtain a commitment and Provincial funding to restore the Rondeau barrier beach.

– Long term, administration work toward a strategy on the approaches for the remaining regions and sub-regions identified in the report.

– Upon completion of Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority policy and hazard mapping updates identified in the subject report, administration initiate a formal review of the Official Plan land use policies and Zoning By-law regulations related to the Lake Erie shoreline areas.

– Councillor Harrigan successfully moved that administration return to council with a report to identify opportunities and programs (human, information, or financial resource based) that CK can make available to home owners living in the most vulnerable areas along Lake Erie to protect and maintain their properties, given the long term nature of the solutions outlined in the Zuzek report. These opportunities should be complementary (and in addition to) the recommendations listed above.

A staff report indicates the implementation of the recommendations will result in a capital cost ranging from $131.7 to $217.2-million.

Staff says annual maintenance costs will also be required contingent upon the solution chosen.

“Discussion with Provincial and Federal representatives have been on going to determine if there are opportunities for higher level government funding,” staff said in a report.

“At this time, there is no funding available.”

No long-term commitments were made by Council on Monday night.

To watch the full presentation by Zuzek and the discussion by Council, watch the video below produced by YourTV:

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