Town seeking solutions to McGregor flooding, municipal subsidy program to come soon



By RTT Staff


A McGregor resident appeared before town council regarding the late August flood and the town is stating they are coming up with answers for him and every other resident.

Tom Welsh, who lives on Middle Side Road, said his home was damaged by flooding in the Aug. 28 storm as seven inches of rain hit that area, including five inches between the hours of 7-11 p.m. He told council it’s not the first time that it happened.

“Two times in two years we’ve flooded,” said Welsh. “It’s enough. There’s more people in town that just the core.”

Welsh said he had 18 inches of water in his basement, including human feces. He noted he has even spent $3,000 on a generator trying to fix the problem.

“I don’t know what else to do. It’s got to stop. Things have to be done,” said Welsh. “I put a whole lot into (my home). It’s a nice area. Our community is awesome.”

Welsh wanted to see more investment in that area.

“Everything you see in town is for the core,” he said. “We should get something.”

The town said there is, in fact, investment happening there and work is being done to address the issues in McGregor. An $80,000 investigation was conducted and “no smoking gun” was found in the public system. Director of public works and engineering Antonietta Giofu stating “our focus shifts to the private side.” She added a report regarding a subsidy program is currently scheduled to come before council Sept. 25.

“It will definitely include McGregor and be a town-wide program as well,” she said.

Councillor Diane Pouget told Welsh “we have spent quite a bit of money” in trying to solve the problem, with Mayor Aldo DiCarlo agreeing.

“We are spending money and we will continue to spend money until we find a solution,” said DiCarlo. “This council is very committed to it. We’re going to keep working in this area to alleviate the problem.”

DiCarlo said this council is sympathetic to residents who continuously flood but said $400,000 has been budgeted this year to try and fix the problem as quickly as possible. He noted the forthcoming report will address issues as downspout disconnections and backflow valves, among other things, and that they will work with private homeowners to address issues.

The Ontario government has released this map detailing where in Amherstburg disaster relief is available stemming from the Aug. 28 rain event.

“We have not forgotten about anybody,” he said. “I think council has shown we know where the town’s boundaries are.”

One in 100 year storms are not one in 100 year storms anymore and DiCarlo added large rain events can be expected so action is needed.

“Every time it rains, if there is a mayor that doesn’t sweat, I don’t know who they are,” he said. “The hardest part is to tell people we’re working on it as I can only imagine how that has been received.”

CAO John Miceli said administration is doing its part to try and find a resolution to the problem, believing the subsidy program is a step in the right direction.

“We understand your concerns,” said Miceli. “We’re providing a program that I think will go over and above what other municipalities are offering.”

Miceli also said until a solution is found to the flooding issues, “we’re going to keep trying.”

Welsh also expressed concern with the number of power outages the area experiences, with DiCarlo stating that Essex Power has tried to work with Ontario Hydro to take over all of Amherstburg but “they have flat out denied us over and over.”

The town would be happy to facilitate a meeting between Welsh and Ontario Hydro, said DiCarlo, as he believed that would do more than the municipality trying to get involved. He added that Ontario Hydro “is all but ignoring infrastructure in rural areas.

“We’re fighting the province on this,” said DiCarlo. “If they are going to provide hydro, they have to do so reliably.”

In all, roughly 34 homes in the McGregor area have reported flooding to the town of Amherstburg.

The Ontario government notified the City of Windsor and the Towns of Amherstburg, Essex, Lakeshore, LaSalle and Tecumseh last Thursday that it has activated the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians program in flood-affected areas.

The province advised that affected individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations that have experienced property damage or loss as a result of this disaster may be eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses.

The program applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or to a main small business, farm or not-for-profit organization. Damage from sewer backup is not eligible under the program except under special provisions for low-income households.

The government states it “is closely monitoring other areas experiencing flooding across the province. It may activate the program in these areas as flood impacts continue to be assessed in the coming days and weeks.”

More information and detailed program guidelines are available at or call toll-free 1-844-780-8925.


Flooding victims encouraged to report it to public works



By RTT Staff


Those in Amherstburg who sustained damage thanks to heavy rain Monday night are being encouraged to call the Amherstburg Public Works Department to report it.

Clerk Paula Parker noted as of Thursday afternoon that no insurance claims had been filed with the municipality to that point but people were being asked to report damage to public works. Director of engineering and public works Antonietta Giofu said her department has had 19 calls as of approximately 2 p.m. Thursday.

“We’ve had some flooding in the McGregor area,” she said.


The calls have been mainly due to basement flooding though some calls late Monday evening were due to roadways flooding in the Canard Valley Estates subdivision and Middle Side Road (County Road 10), she stated.

All systems and pumps were functioning properly, said Giofu, but “it was just a massive amount of rain.”

By calling it in to public works, it helps the department document the issue and track what exactly happened. She said representatives from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be in the region Tuesday and that reports of damage would be shared in case relief could be provided.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo posted on his Facebook page that residents are encouraged to call public works.

“If you experienced any flooding from the past heavy rainfall, please contact Public Works at 519-736-3664 to report your damage,” the mayor stated. “I have been notified by the Minister of Municipal Affairs that they should have representatives in the region next week to assess the situation and coordinate possible relief. The Town would like to submit all related information so please let us know. Thank you.”

Essex County’s 33rd annual Steam and Gas Engine Show showcases history for another year


By Jolene Perron


From tractor pulls, to their annual chicken and rib dinner, the 33rd annual Essex County Steam and Gas Engine show showcased pieces of history at Co-An Park over the weekend.

Justin Flood follows his son Brennan, age 2, around the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show while he explores as many tractors as possible Saturday.

Justin Flood follows his son Brennan, age 2, around the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show while he explores as many tractors as possible Saturday.

The festival in McGregor has a reputation for bringing city and county families together for a day in the sun. Mitchell Schinkel was following his two-year-old son around the festival, who he said is just obsessed with tractors. His father, Ben, said Connor takes after his father.

“I used to take him when he was little,” said Ben. “He loved tractors when he was young. We do a lot of work for farmers, and this is supporting the farmers, and we have an interest in tractors ourselves.”

Brothers Arnold and Wayne Surtees look at a 1972 international Model 1066 at the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show Saturday.

Brothers Arnold and Wayne Surtees look at a 1972 international Model 1066 at the Essex County Steam & Gas Engine show Saturday.

Exhibitors like the McGuire family have been a part of the festival since it began. Mark McGuire said he likes to carry on his father’s legacy, especially since he just passed away in December.

“Mark’s dad has a private museum of antiques on the farm, and this was dad’s thing, to bring things from his museum out,” said Mark’s wife Cori. “He just loved to be with people.”

Steam Gas and Engine Show-17

In addition to the McGuire family’s antique farming equipment, Mark brings out his vintage bicycles, which he said is the only thing his father didn’t collect. It also serves as a preview for their vintage bicycle show, which will be at their farm during the last weekend of August.

“I think it’s a great history lesson for kids,” said Cori. “Kids come here and, especially city kids, they see tractors. They walk around with their eyes wide open, they get to learn about the past, and it’s a nice slow kind of a day. You see people talking to each other. It’s a nice day to just slow down and enjoy county life.”

Lady Gens slo-pitch season starts on winning note



By Ron Giofu


It has been a good start to the season for the General Amherst Lady Gens slo-pitch team.

The girls team played a pair of games last Thursday afternoon at Co-An Park in McGregor and won them both. Their first game was a 10-7 victory over the Cardinal Carter Cougars with the second being a 28-4 rout of the St. Anne Saints.

Megan Wismer gets a hit during the first inning of last Thursday’s General Amherst girls slo-pitch game against St. Anne.

Megan Wismer gets a hit during the first inning of last Thursday’s General Amherst girls slo-pitch game against St. Anne.

Assistant coach Mike Prescott said after the first game that “there’s room for improvement” but noted every team has the “winter bugs” to shake off.

“It’s a young season for everyone,” said Prescott. “Everyone gets better as the season goes on.”
Prescott said hitting is the team’s strength this season and that was evident in the second game of the afternoon.

“We’re very excited for the season,” said Prescott. “We’ve got a good veteran presence.”

The Lady Gens have 14 players on the roster, with nine of them returning from last year’s WECSSAA championship squad. Four of the five new players are Grade 9 additions.

Jackie Wismer scores a run during General Amherst’s 28-4 victory over St. Anne last Thursday. The game was played at Co-An Park in McGregor.

Jackie Wismer scores a run during General Amherst’s 28-4 victory over St. Anne last Thursday. The game was played at Co-An Park in McGregor.

“We’re looking to repeat,” said Prescott.

The Lady Gens were on the road at Villanova Tuesday afternoon after this issue of the River Town Times went to press. They are scheduled to play Friday at 2:30 p.m. against Belle River back at Co-An Park.

Their first game at Wigle Park is scheduled for May 9 at 3:30 p.m. against Kingsville.

Traffic stop results in gun seizure and numerous other charges


A pair of 18-year-old males from Windsor face charges following a traffic stop Tuesday night near McGregor.

The Amherstburg Police Service states that shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, an officer stopped a silver 2015 Dodge Dart for allegedly travelling at 90 km/hr in a 50 km/hr zone on Essex County Road 11 (Walker Road) in the area of Essex County Road 8.

During the traffic stop, police issued an approved screening device demand (roadside breath demand) to the 18-year-old male driver. He allegedly failed to provide a sample at which time he was placed under arrest.

All passengers were requested to exit the vehicle at which time it was searched.

According to police, the search revealed an open bottle of alcohol immediately behind the driver’s seat as well as .22 calibre revolver immediately behind the passenger seat. Following the discovery of the firearm, all of the vehicle occupants were placed under arrest.

Aburg Police Logo Rev-web

The driver, an 18-year-old Windsor male has been charged with failing or refusing to provide sample, driving motor vehicle with liquor readily available, being a novice driver – B.A.C. above zero, failing to surrender insurance card, failing to surrender permit for motor vehicle and speeding.

The 18-year-old passenger, also of Windsor, is charged with unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm and occupant of motor vehicle knowing there was firearm.

Three other passengers, a 17-year-old female, a 17-year-old male, and an 18-year-old female, were released unconditionally.

Police are reminding the public that firearm safety is very important. Firearms should be stored and transported properly to ensure the safety of the public.

If you know of anyone in possession of illegal firearms, you are encouraged to contact police at 519-736-3622, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8477 (TIPS) or online at