Virtual meeting to be held for Wheatley residents

Wheatley gas explosion. (Photo courtesy of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

Residents and business owners affected by last week’s explosion in downtown Wheatley will get a chance to have their questions answered.

A virtual meeting will be held on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 10 a.m. It can be seen on the municipal Facebook site and YouTube channel.

According to the municipality, questions submitted by residents onscreen will be directed to a panel of municipal officials and others.

The panel will include Mayor Darrin Canniff, West-Kent Councillor Melissa Harrigan, Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire, Fire Chief Chris Case, and Community and Human Services General Manager April Rietdyk.

There will also be representatives from the Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Chatham-Kent Legal Services Clinic and a representative from the province’s Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry has also been invited to take part.

Chatham-Kent Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire said even though officials have been providing regular updates as the situation unfolds, they want to do more.

“We understand that people have a lot of questions,” said Shropshire. “In a pre-Covid world, we would be holding the meeting in Wheatley but the next best thing is for us to use technology to reach out virtually. I encourage anyone in Wheatley who has questions to participate. We may not have all of the answers but we will do our best.”

The reception centre that was set up at the Wheatley Arena to support residents who had to leave their homes will also be open again on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During that time, they will also be accepting and distributing gift cards.

The Wheatley community has also set up a food hub and donation centre at 108 Talbot Street in Wheatley — it was moved from the previous location at the golf course. Anyone interested in more information can contact Susan Fulmer at 519-300-4101, info@wheatleyareafoodbank.ca.