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Humour spawns quick action on Maryhill drainage problem

“You can’t fight city hall?” Sure you can – with snark.

When a new drainage ditch from the Maryhill Isley North watermain replacement project led to a stream of dirty, standing water in his backyard, resident Tony Schulde found the best way to catch the township’s eye was with a sense of humour.

For several days, a handmade sign in Schulde’s backyard christened his unwanted lake “West Nile Crossing,” complete with skull and cross bones. “It looks like a sewer pit, and that’s breeding for West Nile. That’s mosquito breeding,” said Schulde on Wednesday afternoon.

The project, which occurred over the summer in Maryhill, was intended to fix drainage issues in the area, but the project’s completion in August left Schulde and his neighbor with a faulty ditch. “When they did it, they said there wouldn’t be standing water. Now, out in the back, there’s a lot of standing water, and it wasn’t going away,” he said.

“I phoned the township, and they were out yesterday, and they’re gonna fix it all. “I told ‘em, ‘You know about it. If it’s not fixed properly, I’ll get [the newspaper] to write a story about it.’ They said, ‘Oh, please don’t do that.’”

There’s a happy ending to Schulde’s story: project managers from the township agreed this week to make the necessary fixes to the drainage ditch, ensuring that West Nile pond will soon be no more.

“They were talking to the Grand River Conservation people – they won’t let them go so far down, because there’s a creek back here,” said Schulde. “But he said yesterday they’re going to have to go down to the creek, because there’s too much standing water.”

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