Message from Ward 2 Councillor Howard Shore
February 13, 2013
Upgrades to 100-year protection will not be funded on the backs of Thornhill residents
Markham Council made a significant decision last evening in recognizing that Stormwater and flood control systems are core infrastructure and the fundamental responsibility of the City of Markham as a whole. This is a principle of fundamental fairness. Funding for improvements to municipal stormwater and flood control systems in Ontario and throughout Canada has always been collected on a city-wide basis with no examples of Local Improvement Charges found. Many municipalities have begun preparing sustainable funding plans for stormwater infrastructure or already have them in place. Planned upgrades to stormwater and flood protection levels in older areas of the City, such as Thornhill, is a valuable program with which to begin the stormwater management funding strategy for all of Markham
For residents of Thornhill, this decision is long overdue and cannot be overstated. The impact to Thornhill residents would have been the difference between a $36 per year charge for 30 years rather than upwards of $330 per year. We heard from residents across the City in support of this move to make this a 100% city-wide infrastructure responsibility. This demonstrates that whether one lives on Ladyslipper Court in Thornhill or Joseph Street in the east of Markham, we are all neighbours.
It is my hope that when staff report back in the fall on the actual sources of funding that we will formally adopt a clear and consistent Stormwater Management Funding Policy document. The decision last night means that such a Policy or Strategy will apply in all areas of Markham regardless of the postal code and which will recognize outstanding existing problem areas such as Thornhill and the Don Mills Channel, provide certainty regarding the implications of future increased infill development and the need to reduce risk.
As part of my Motion, City staff will proceed with a series of Public Meetings across Markham to speak with residents about the various funding sources as well as best practices business and residents may employ to manage stormwater run-off.
The recommendations approved at Council last evening really were the result of tremendous work put in over several years by a number of outstanding community volunteers from both Wards 1 & 2 who were part of the Thornhill Stormwater Liaison Group. It is with their tireless effort and commitment, along with the help of Councillor Burke, that made this possible.
Questions? Please do not hesitate contacting my office.
Vice Chair, Community & Fire Services