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Local resident frustrated that his front lawn has become a dangerous sand trap

'When it rains this thing turns into another quagmire and I am really worried about someone else falling into it again'

Carl D'Amour has lived in the Woodward Avenue area of West Ferris since 1989, but the retired conservation officer says in that time he has never dealt with such a frustrating situation with his property.  

Back in December, a water leak forced the City of North Bay and North Bay Hydro to collectively dig up his front yard. 

"On December 28th we had a water leak and the city of North Bay came in and did a test and found the leak was on their side of the property so they came in and fixed the water leak and just before they finished the project they nicked a Hydro line and when they nicked the Hydro line, North Bay Hydro had to come in and fix the nick in the line," explained D'Amour.  

Since that day D'Amour says it has been a struggle to get his lawn back to normal.    

"They could not do it right away so it was dug up a couple more times by the City of North Bay and Hydro and when Hydro came in in March and dug a hole and figured they could not fix it and they needed a contractor to do it." 

D'Amour says that work transformed his lawn into a horrible sandy hazard.

"They dumped a load of beach sand in here and the third day after they did that, it had rained a lot and a kid walked in here from the schools, across our property here, and fell up to his waist. The boy was pulled out and they didn't put a guard fence around it so I got in touch with North Bay Hydro and they finally came and did that."

Despite that scary situation, the work on his front lawn which is on city property has moved slower than erosion. The asphalt on D'Amour's driveway is already starting to erode and pieces are falling into the sandy abyss.  

"Up to two weeks ago they fixed the Hydro on the street as you can also see new meters on the houses and they told me it would be a project for the City of North Bay to fix this up. They contacted me over two weeks ago and said we don't know when the process is going to be going on and this is since December 2020 and today is August 3, and still not fixed up."

D'Amour says he has put in more than 25 calls to the city to address the situation, now with the worry that his driveway will continue to erode away if nothing is done.  

"I am worried about backing in my boat right now," admitted D'Amour.

"It is hard enough to swing in as it is with that caving in and it is caving in every once in a while and if you look underneath it is starting to erode."

He says his neighbours have been taking notice too. 

"Even my neighbours have complained to the city and hydro about the mess that is on my front lawn," said D'Amour.  

"It extends past their property onto mine and it looks terrible. When it rains this thing turns into another quagmire and I am really worried about someone else falling into it again."

BayToday reached out to Gord Young, Communications Officer with the City of North Bay about the situation.

D'Amour says late Tuesday afternoon, the City of North Bay reached out and Scott Taggart, Operations Manager of Water and Wastewater with the City of North Bay, visited the site saying he was not aware of the situation on Woodward Avenue. 

"He came to visually see the problem and apologized for the mess," said D'Amour. 

"They put us at the top of the priority list." 

Young also responded with a statement from the City of North Bay regarding the situation on Woodward Avenue. 

"We recognize that the homeowner in this situation is understandably frustrated with the extended time it is taking for restoration," Young said.  

"Normally, restoration work for a water service repair occurring in the winter like this would be completed in late spring or early summer. Unfortunately, in this case, crews experienced some complications that have led to delays. 

"This includes damage to a hydro line, which occurred during the original repair, followed damage to a water service, which occurred while North Bay Hydro was repairing its damaged line. The city has since returned to the site to repair the water services and North Bay Hydro completed its repairs approximately two weeks ago. Final restoration at this location will be done in the next two weeks and we have been in contact with the homeowner to explain the reasons for the extended restoration timeline."   

D'Amour says now he feels some hope.  

"I just want them to fix it and look like the rest of the street, it is just an eyesore."  


Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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