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Fighting City Hall

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posted on Oct, 11 2011 @ 02:09 PM
Welcome to beautiful North Bay, Ontario. Canada. Population 53,966.

The Wikipedia page for North Bay.
North Bay.

The story so far....

On July 19 2011 a private contractor hired by the City to repair a section of sidewalk, allegedly backed on to a neighbouring residential driveway and the front lawn. Unbeknownst to the heavy equipment operator, a water shut-off valve was sticking up approx. 6 inches above the driveway pavement. I have to say "allegedly" because there were no photos or videos of the incident and we all know what that means. No pics, no vids, no happen.

Upon returning home the homeowner notices water running down his driveway, down the street and into the storm sewer. The source of the running water was a broken shutoff valve.

"It used to be this high above the pavement," Lalonde says, holding his hand about three inches off the ground. It now sticks up about an inch.

Lalonde points to deep indentations in the paved driveway — his neighbour has interlocking bricks — which he says were caused by a heavy truck, matching tire tread marks on his lawn which he said were 13 inches wide.

The homeowner calls city hall to report a leak, which is common practice. After an inspection by the city it is determined that because the leak is originating from the home owner's side of the property line, the repair cost is the responsibility of the homeowner. A $5000.00 price tag.

Original Story

Jump forward to September 2011. The water is still flowing from the valve, the City refuses to budge and the contractor denies any wrong doing. To make matters worse the city has served notice that it plans to shut-off water to the house unless the valve is repaired immediately.

Lalonde has a heart condition and has returned to school, and his wife is off work on maternity leave. They also have three children, and the prospect of losing water service scares him

Homeowner warned water could be shut off.

And it was... Sept 7 2011 the city arrived and shut-off the water to the family of 5. A kind hearted neighbour has allowed the family to connect to their house via garden hose.

Although water is no longer spilling out of his driveway like it once was, Lalonde, who lives on Galt Street, says that he's been living on a temporary water supply since September 9th which means that his garden hose is hooked up to his neighbour’s garden hose.

News clip with quote.

Lalonde recently appeared in front of city council. He now reports that witness have come forward to backup his claim that a crew hired by the city had used his driveway and front yard as a turnaround for their vehicles. Unfortunately it appears that his presentation fell on deaf ears.

I think the quote from the City's CAO sums it up best.

When told by reporters that Lalonde claims to have evidence that proves that a contractor working for the city caused the damage, Linkie says that the City still won't deviate from their stance

News clip with quote.

Rephrased "We hired these guys, they screwed up but it's not our responsibility"

It looks like the City is going to force this guy to go the legal route to force them into action.
A little bit of good news though, another local contractor has offered to repair the valve at no cost. I guess there are still some decent people left in the world.

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