Wheatley receives $3.9M to support businesses, commercial landlords after explosion

·2 min read

Help is on the way for those impacted by the Wheatley explosion nearly one year ago.

Businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and commercial properties impacted by the gas explosion in Wheatley are getting some additional financial support.

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent announced it secured an additional $3.9 million from the province to provide more support for those impacted by the explosion last August.

In total, the province has given $5.9 million in relief funding to the community since the explosion took place on August 26. Nearly 100 households and dozens of businesses were displaced after the blast rocked Wheatley’s downtown. Crews have been investigating the source of the blast ever since.

The additional support comes from the Ministry of Economic development, job creation and trade.

“Our hope is that these additional funds will help to alleviate some of the continued financial hardships these businesses have endured, and we look forward to the continued support of the province in regard to this,” said downtown Wheatley business owners and co-chairs of the BIA Mike and Erika Renwick in a joint statement.

According to the municipality, $1.97 million has been distributed among 30 businesses, four non-profits, and 19 commercial properties over the last several months.

“We’d like to thank the businesses of Wheatley for their patience, understanding, and tenacity during this difficult process. We’d also like to thank Premier Ford and his team for their diligent efforts to get these funds released into our community,” said Mayor Darrin Canniff. “This process has shown what can be accomplished when a fluid, collaborative relationship is established between municipal and provincial government.”

The additional $3.9 million will be distributed in three phases designed to help the affected businesses’ revenue losses up to August 2022. The first disbursement will immediately take place to approved applicants.

Meanwhile, Chatham-Kent officials report they’re moving towards the next step in recovering the evacuation site of the Wheatley explosion.

The project team will use “down-hole charges” to perforate the casing of the Tait well in the municipal parking lot. This is being done to allow the cement to reach all areas of the well and is part of the plugging operation.

The municipality said the procedures meet the oil and gas industry standards, and noise and vibration are part of site operations. Any noise or vibration associated with the casing perforation is part of the site operations.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting