Writer wishes Mindemoya developer ‘every success’

To the Expositor:

As usual, when a new topic comes up in the Expositor’s letters to the editor section, my mental juices start flowing with my thoughts and opinions about the matter, whether I know anything about it or not. So, low and behold, just when I was mentally congratulating the Home Hardware for having the foresight to build on the east side of Mindemoya, there’s a letter about filling in flood plains that warrants thinking about.

So, it made me remember that, in my childhood in Woodstock, there was a garbage dump near the Thames River (my memory may need realignment because it sounds hard to believe). Anyway, it was likely filling in a flood plain. There was also a garbage dump on the south end of town just off of Parkinson Road which was maybe 5 miles or less from our fantastic water supply which came from “Sweaburg Swamp.” Of course, back then, plastics were just being invented so they were treasured to turn into something else right in your own kitchen, like blue plastic fleecy bottle poodles and hair curler containers. A whole industry sprang up to keep our mothers occupied doing something they previously hadn’t thought of and didn’t have time for if they’d thought of it.

Okay, so in case I forget where I was headed, this is about filling in flood plains.

There were low lying swamps here and there surrounded by some massive hills containing a million dollars worth of gravel. When I walked to school, we surmounted these hills and low spots never imagining that one day there’d be houses on the dump, with methane vents, grass on another dump next to the Thames, subdivisions where farms once covered gravel deposits and so on and so forth. You get the picture. It was back when cars had fins and better suspension.

So, I am not sure what went into the dump as we had a compost pile (the real kind that you put dirt over every day), and I haven’t a clue if garbage bags were invented because groceries were in paper bags, and meat was wrapped in butcher paper. Hmmm. Vegetables? We grew them or got them in season or frozen/canned, so what the heck went into the dump? Maybe old tires and batteries and paint cans because they couldn’t be composted or burned. The bones may have gone there because we didn’t have a dog and loved eating meat with real vegetables and pies in reusable pans. But TV dinners were invented so some people (but not us) would throw out sectional foil plates, which were quite thick, about as thick as a cake pan. My mother bought some on sale and reused those pans to make homemade TV dinners for years. (She didn’t make the blue fleecy bottle poodles though because she wasn’t into that). We were more pioneerish types. Not knowing that the neighbours’ batteries were going into the flood plain.

But they did install back flow valves into peoples water escape lines that prevented back ups into the basement of any water, contaminated or not.

I think it will be okay to fill in some of the flood plain for the Home Hardware store because the engineers probably made sure it would be filled in with better quality fill than when I was young. But back flow valves would maybe be a good idea. I am not a plumber so please do not take this as advice but just an idea that might be a good one.

Also, it’s really only a couple of acres and there have been a lot more acres filled in, one wheel barrow load at a time, along shorelines and where people wanted it filled in just for the heck of it. Some of it is now being sold as prime shoreline real estate! And think of the new tax revenues of the new store and the convenience and drawing card to the area.

From someone who thinks they likely engineered the drainage properly and wishes them every success in this terrific location,

Margaret Schwartzentruber
Monetville and Manitoulin highways and byways