The St. Marys Golf & Country Club and the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) are no closer to finding a solution to flooding at the golf course. In a presentation to Town Council, Dave Courtnage and Matt Staffen updated Council on the lack of or no communication with UTRCA recently. UTRCA say that their procedures at Wildwood Dam and Reservoir offers flood protection for downtown structures and they do not feel that they should change for just one business. However, both the Town and the Golf Club believe that the current procedures could affect more than just the golf club. Courtnage told Council that in June the golf club made a proposal to UTRCA that an independent third-party mediator be involved to listen to both sides of the situation. Courtnage said that Mr. Wilcox from UTRCA did not reply to the proposal. Courtnage said he sent the UTRCA another proposal in August outlining the mediator proposal and that both sides would split any costs on a 50/50 basis. In a reply from UTRCA through the Chair Sandy Levin, they defended their present position and said “however, your repeated correspondence and unfounded attacks to our credibility through media and social media have put me in the position asking staff to no longer respond to requests to change dam operations”.
“I’ve written to the board of the Upper Thames and I’ve consulted Council because, frankly, the correspondence with Upper Thames is not only disappointing, it’s absolutely disgusting,” St. Marys Mayor Al Strathdee said at the Council meeting. He added that no public agency should speak to a taxpayer the way UTRCA has with Mr. Courtnage.
In support of the golf course. Council agreed with the request from the golf course to back their petition asking the Ministry of Environment and Conservation to impose a strategy on UTRCA for the dam that would assist in lessening flooding problems at the golf course.