Lakeshore homeowners ask Plympton-Wyoming to withhold cash from conservation authority


Frustrated lakeshore property owners are demanding Plympton-Wyoming council withholds partial payment to the St. Clair Conservation Authority unless they get more help to protect their eroding shorelines. 
And they want the town to team up with the City of Sarnia and host a meeting where taxpayers’ complaints can be aired to conservation authority reps.  
About 60 lakeshore owners have formed SECC (Shoreline Erosion Collective Coalition), a new citizens group that packed Plympton-Wyoming council chambers Nov. 27 requesting immediate action. They will go to Sarnia council and make the same demands.
“People have lost 10 to 20 feet a year for the last three years but 2019 has been the worst,” says spokesperson Kristen Rodrigues.
Taxpayers are willing to spend their own money on their own shoreline protection but can’t get the required permits from the St. Clair Conservation Authority, she says. 
Residents who apply for permits feel like they hit roadblock after roadblock when the authority requests expensive engineering and other paperwork.  Rather than approve new sheet walls or loose rock piles, the conservation authority appears to want to let Mother Nature take her course, says Rodrigues.
“That’s the final straw.  Entire bluffs are being wiped out.  There is so much devastation to the environment, to an entire ecosystem.
“The policies that are in place are failing these property owners.”
When the Town of Plympton-Wyoming pays its 2020 levy to the St. Clair Conservation Authority, the SECC wants the town to withhold the 14.6 per cent budget increase that the authority has requested.  
That amounts to about $4,000, perhaps not a large sum, but more of a symbolic gesture, says Rodrigues.
“It’s the principle, not the amount.