Cochrane, Ont. couple calls on municipality to repair essential infrastructure to fix flooding issue
TIMMINS -- There are several famous fifth avenues throughout North America, but in Cochrane, Fifth Avenue is infamous for its flooding after a rainfall.
"Basically any time there's a rainstorm, the whole road will flood. It's worrisome because we can't even leave our driveway," said Jenna Lajeunesse, homeowner on Fifth Avenue in Cochrane.
Jenna's husband, Andrew, added, "We've had probably about three feet of water ... which is quite a bit, especially with the holes in the ground. It probably averages somewhere around six feet in some of the areas of water."
They said sometimes the water level is high enough to go canoeing.
Cochrane's mayor Denis Clement said this has been a problem for a long time.
"So the history with Fifth Avenue has been an ongoing problem for I would say thirty, forty, thirty-five years. It's unfortunate the sanitary sewers are not big enough to handle any major storm," said Clement.
For the Lajeunesse family, four years has been long enough.
"Back in June the road collapsed and then it just kept collapsing and the hole kept expanding so the Town put fences around it; and our brother-in-law was walking on the street and his foot fell through so we haven't been able to let our kids ride their bikes," said Jenna Lajeunesse.
"Why hasn't it been addressed? You know it's difficult to say, different priorities over the years," said Clement.
Cochrane, home to around fifty-two hundred people, is like many other municipalities struggling to come up with the millions of dollars needed to repair aging infrastructure.
Clement agrees that the patch jobs are not working anymore and the recommendation the Town's received is to upgrade the sewer system.
"To do that ... it's a minimum of two million dollars. We have applied to the province for funding under infrastructure services and we're just waiting for an answer either yes or no and it looks promising," he said.
The Lajeunesses understand it's an expensive undertaking, but said they pay taxes and added they've already lost thirty thousand dollars when the sewer system backed up into their basement.
They've now got their house up for sale and they said they can only hope by going public about the problem, it will get fixed sooner than later.