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'We have been used as pawns by the Town'to the editor,
Posted September 16, 2013
For those residents that were not at the Town of New Tecumseth public meeting on September 11th we would like to share why we spoke against the proposed Zoning By Law Amendment for Rayville Developments in Beeton.
To date we have spent $146,000 on lawyers, civil and geotechnical engineering firms. My wife Lynn was told that the Town had no authority to force the developer to address any problems that they may have caused, even though we have proof to the contrary.
We obtained copies of the by law agreement between the town and the original developer. It does in fact say that the town has the authority to rectify any damages caused by the developer, in the event that the developer does not do so themselves.
We have a letter from Rayville's lawyers sent to our lawyer on June 27, 2013 that the Town was going to indeed force the current developer to implement the plan that our civil engineer had designed and they had agreed to. We were informed that this would take 6-8 weeks to design, implement and construct the drain. As of now we have heard nothing.
It had been agreed upon by all parties concerned that the interim solution was relatively simple and inexpensive, perhaps as little as $25,000. It really begs the question as to why the Town has let this situation go on and on.
Lynn and I have been virtual prisoners in our own home. The constant fear of flooding has exacted an enormous toll over the past five years, emotionally and physically. We have been very alert and on our guard for potential flooding as our lawyer said we must employ due diligence to protect our home, which we would have done in any case.
There must have been at least 8 to 12 times when the power went out or the sump pump failed and we were home to fire up the portable generator, every time except once.
When this problem started back in 2008 after the earthworks were done, the Town's engineering staff saw the water coming in our sump pump and told us we had serious problems and advised us to go see the Town's lawyer. He informed us the Town couldn't do anything but we had to go after the developer and referred us to a litigation lawyer. It has been five years, three developers later, and still nothing has been done to fix the problem. So before council changes the zoning by law can they enforce the by law they originally signed?
Should any party wish to see the complete history of the situation please feel free to contact us as we have detailed records and pictures. Lynn and I feel we have been used as pawns by the Town against the three different developers involved since the problem began. The only real driving force in all this has been to us is to the tune of $146,000.
The Town has been aware of the situation but has never shown the leadership to act even though they have full authority to do so. To say that we are totally discouraged and disappointed by the Town's complete lack of effort in helping us would be a gross understatement.
After the meeting we had a discussion with Rayville who told us they have submitted the plans to the Town and once approval is received they will construct the temporary solution. In addition, Deputy Mayor Rick Milne advised us that this was the first time council was aware that there was an issue.
Our reply was that our local councillor, Richard Norcross, has
known of the issue and the amount of money we have poured into trying
to protect our property since the earthworks were done. We have been
told by this councillor that the Town is on our side and now we are
totally bewildered by this statement from the deputy mayor.