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Port Robinson resident raises alarm about overflowing ditch

Peter Coons fears a child might end up drowning one day; 'It's slimy green and the stench is unbelievable'

Port Robinson resident Peter Coons is ringing the alarm bell because he’s worried about a ditch on his street. 

Due to a clog in a drainage pipe, water accumulates in the ditch and Coons fears that a child might end up drowning one day. While he has made City Hall aware of the issue, he says they're slow to take action.

“Usually when it rains, it really fills up — especially in the early spring,” Coons tells ThoroldToday. “This will actually be almost running over the road. That's at least eight feet if you measure down.”

Some residents have used the area along George Street to dump garbage, which has created a toxic stew.

“It's not very nice,” says Coons. “You should see it in the springtime with the mosquitoes. It's slimy green and the stench is unbelievable.”

The ditch is located on city-owned property, which is why Coons has been asking City Hall to tackle the issue.

“I first called about drainage ditch 23 March, 2022,” he says, and on January 2023, City Hall staff came down to investigate the matter.

Coons claims that the staffer mocked his concerns and told him: “‘The canal’s right there. They can drown in the canal.’”

While City Hall staff have come out a second time to investigate, they've not taken any action, according to Coons.

“They know it's their responsibility," he says. "They've admitted that. And they haven't done anything about it.”

When reached for comment City Hall staff said that they are aware of the issue.

“We have continually cleaned up the garbage and monitored the water level in this area,” they write. “Water does accumulate in a ditch and drain naturally. It reoccurs based on flow levels. Any action that we take in this area could affect down-stream properties.”

And when it comes to the garbage City Hall staff says that they "continually clean up garbage within the City of Thorold but residents are welcome to report their concerns at this link.”

As for Coons, he says that the city’s non-action on the issue exemplifies how Port Robinson residents are treated.

“We get nothing done out here,” he says. “Look at the ditches. They need to be worked on. We're always the last ones.”

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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