Limit set on backflow value plan

The town will set aside money to a help basement flooded residents in the Hurricane Road pumping station area as well as those with backup flooding in other areas of the town.
At its regular meeting Monday, councillors turned down a suggestion to subsidize installation of backflow prevention valves for any sewer-connected home.
Ward 1 Coun. Jim Lane said offering $1,000 to each of 4,000 homes would be $4 million program.
Instead, council set aside $165,000 for about 135 homes in the area of the Hurricane Road pumping station and another $25,000 for those sewer- serviced areas who had backup flooding in other parts of the town.
The decision is the result of a special committee of the whole meeting last week. 
It was with residents living around the pumping station. More than 30 homes had basements flooded during a heavy rainfall on May 14.
The residents were looking for an explanation and possible compensation, said Glen Servos during a presentation at the special meeting that followed a 75-name petition to council.
They experienced thousands of dollars damage that could amount to $4 million in total, he said.
Homeowners faced increased insurance deductibles, higher insurance rates and in some cases cancellation.
The flooding from the backed-up sewers will affect property values and future house sales, he said.
During the meeting, Betty Matthews-Malone, Niagara Region’s water and wastewater director, said the pumping station did not fail when almost 30 millimetres of rain fell in 40 minutes, “it was overwhelmed” on May 14.
It received eight times the normal amount of water it would normally pump, she said. The region operates the pumping station.
At the end of the meeting, the committee recommended to council a $1,000 subsidy and waiving of a $250 permit fee for those who install backflow prevention values.
That was the recommendation town council worked with Monday.
Councillors said they received calls from people outside the Hurricane Road pumping station area who were flooded by sewage backup and faced insurance problems.
The subsidy would go to those with existing homes not for homes under construction.
Chief administrative officer Darren Ottaway said an education package would be prepared for the subsidy program. Funds would come from the waste water budget.
Coun. Peter Papp said it will take time to monitor the subsidy but this will get it started.
“We did make a commitment to do it.”
During the special meeting last week, the residents and councillors agreed to set up a committee to look deeper into the flooding issue.

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