City of Stratford Settles Class Action Suit Related to 2002 Flood
The City of Stratford has resolved a long standing class action law suit relating to an unprecedented flood which occurred on July 28, 2002.
The mediated settlement will provide affordable and fair compensation totaling $7.7 million to more than 800 home-owners. This settlement is in addition to almost $1.3 million in emergency compensation that the City provided to affected residents immediately after the flood.
The City has taken prudent steps to prepare for this cost. In past years the City has set aside, from its sanitary sewer rate, $5 million of the total amount and the remainder will be absorbed over the next several years through the City’s municipal water and sewer rate.
During the past seven years, the City has taken significant steps to better protect Stratford from flooding. Following advice from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority, Stratford’s 2002 Sewer Master Plan set out to protect the city from the biggest flood that the city could expect over a period of 250 years. Most communities simply plan for ‘the flood of the century’. Stratford has gone much further.
Through long term financing, and assistance from both the federal and provincial governments, the City has been able to invest over $50 million into Stratford’s sanitary sewer and stormwater management systems. Recent infrastructure funding under the Building Canada Fund will allow the City to accelerate the remaining stages of its storm water management construction program. Once completed, Stratford will have some of the best flood protections of any city in Canada.
For More Information
News Release: City of Stratford Settles Class Action Suit Related to 2002 Flood
Text of the Settlement
Comparison of Municipal Water and Sewer Rates
Questions and Answers about the Settlement
Does the City have insurance to cover this?
The City is insured. However, it has a per-household deductible, which is normal for Ontario municipalities.
Will this require a property tax increase or a water and sewer rate increase? If so, how much?
We are in good shape to absorb this cost. Importantly, this expenditure will not be included in the City's tax rate.
It is possible that the City may bring its sewer rates more in line with other communities. However, other factors are contributing to that. Stratford’s water and sewer rates are low, particularly given the significant improvements that it has made to its sanitary sewer and stormwater management systems in recent years. Overall, the City’s water and sewer rates will continue to be lower than those of surrounding communities.
During the past several years, the City has taken prudent steps to absorb the settlement costs over a manageable period of time. The City has already set aside almost $5,000,000 of the total amount. The remainder will be absorbed over several years through our municipal sewer rate. This settlement is in addition to almost $1.3 million in emergency compensation that the City provided to affected residents immediately after the flood.
How much will each resident get and when?
The City will provide the total amount to the plaintiff’s legal counsel in trust within 30 days of the settlement receiving court approval. Beyond that, administration and distribution of the funds is managed by the plaintiff’s legal counsel. The City has no role in that.
Where can we get a copy of the settlement?
Click here to read the text of the settlement.