Corn­wall wa­ter talks re­freshed

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News The News

BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL

Staff South Glen­garry of­fi­cials want to re-open talks with their coun­ter­parts in Corn­wall re­gard­ing the ex­ten­sion of city mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter ser­vices to Bound­ary Road, two-and-a-half years af­ter a sim­i­lar re­quest by the town­ship was re­sound­ingly turned down.

“It (an agree­ment) would ba­si­cally cover the area from Ty­otown Road, up to the 401, for now,” South Glen­garry CAO Bryan Brown told last week.

“And we’ll have a more lengthy dis­cus­sion, prob­a­bly in the fu­ture, af­ter we’ve com­pleted an EA ( En­vi­ron­men­tal As­sess­ment) of the Greater Glen Wal­ter Area, in terms of where we see Glen Wal­ter in the next five to 10 years...but that won’t hap­pen for prob­a­bly an­other two years, be­cause it’s go­ing to take about 18 months to do the EA.”

At its Jan­uary 25 reg­u­lar meet­ing, South Glen­garry coun­cil set a ten­ta­tive date of March 7 for what would be a spe­cial meet­ing be­tween the coun­cils of the re­spec­tive mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

How­ever, Mr. Brown pointed out that the date, as well as the time and lo­cale for the ses­sion, have yet to be con­firmed, al­though he said “both sides hope” to get to­gether “in the near fu­ture.”

The South Glen­garry CAO feels it’s a good idea for both coun­cils to re­turn to the ta­ble on the mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter mat­ter, call­ing a po­ten­tial deal be­tween the town­ship and city “a win-win” for both com­mu­ni­ties.

“It’s a rev­enue- gen­er­at­ing op­por­tu­nity for them...I think ev­ery­body knows that the city’s mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sys­tem is un­der ca­pac­ity by quite a bit...and we need mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter in that ‘part of the world,’ he said.

“It’s more cost-ef­fec­tive for us to se­cure it from the city than to ex­tend lines that we have, or to cre­ate new sys­tems for that area.”

Dur­ing a meet­ing in Septem­ber 2013, Corn­wall coun­cil re­jected South Glen­garry’s re­quest for mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter and waste­water ser­vices for Bound­ary Road, by an eight-totwo vote (Coun­cil­lor De­nis Carr was ab­sent), cit­ing ca­pac­ity is­sues as the pri­mary rea­son for do­ing so.

Fol­low­ing that meet­ing, South Glen­garry Mayor Ian McLeod ex­pressed his frus­tra­tion with city coun­cil’s de­ci­sion.

“We were ask­ing for 1,200 cu­bic me­tres a day, and the ca­pac­ity of their ex­ist­ing plant, I un­der­stand, is 50,000 to 60,000 cu­bic me­tres per day,” said the mayor.

Corn­wall CAO Norm Le­vac told both coun­cils dur­ing the meet­ing that there was “no prob- The On­tario Health Study needs your help. Jo­ce­lyn Gar­rett, who is over­see­ing part of the study, hopes that area res­i­dents will fill out a form at www.on­tar­i­ohealths­tudy.ca. In­for­ma­tion gleaned from the study will help re­searchers im­prove ac­cess to can­cer treat­ment pro­grams in the prov­ince.

She’s also hop­ing that sur­vey par­tic­i­pants will visit the Corn­wall Le­gion Feb. 25 be­tween 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. or Feb. 26 be­tween 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to give a sam­ple of blood.

The On­tario Health Study is one of the largest long-term health stud­ies in Canada. Since 2010 over 230,000 On­tar­i­ans have taken a short on­line sur­vey to help re­searchers bet­ter un­der­stand the causes of chronic dis­eases like can­cer, heart dis­ease and di­a­betes, and to de­velop new ways to pre­vent and treat them. lem with ca­pac­ity,” adding that “for any ex­ist­ing de­vel­op­ment and for any fore­see­able de­vel­op­ment within the city’s bound­aries, there is enough ca­pac­ity.”

Mr. Le­vac also stated that South Glen­garry would “be pay­ing for all of the (re­quired) in­fra­struc­ture costs” – es­ti­mated to be about $4 mil­lion – and that cap­i­tal and main­te­nance costs levied by the city would “cause it (the ex­ten­sion of ser­vices) to be, ef­fec­tively, cost neu­tral” to the larger mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

Corn­wall coun­cil – with the ex­cep­tion of for­mer Coun­cil­lor Syd Gardiner and Mayor Bob Kil­ger, both of whom sup­ported South Glen­garry’s re­quest – also pointed to the po­ten­tiallyad­verse eco­nomic im­pact on the city, as well as its ratepay­ers, that grant­ing the town­ship’s re­quest would cause.

Then-mayor Kil­ger spoke of the im­por­tance of col­lec­tive re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives be­tween the two mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, adding that he “didn’t see” the de­vel­op­ment of the Bound­ary Road cor­ri­dor as “com­pe­ti­tion from South Glen­garry.”

Mau­reen Adams, the city’s gen­eral man­ager of fi­nan­cial ser­vices and trea­surer, de­bunked the be­lief that Corn­wall res­i­dents would be on the hook for the pro­ject.

“The fi­nan­cial im­pact of pro­vid­ing wa­ter and sewer ser­vices, per this re­quest, will not be sub­si­dized in any way by the ratepay­ers within the City of Corn­wall, or by the tax base,” she ex­plained.

As for the wa­ter/waste­water ca­pac­ity is­sue, Mr. Brown stated last week that it shouldn’t be a con­cern for Corn­wall coun­cil or ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“The last I saw, they’re at 30some per cent ca­pac­ity,” he said.

“Even if the city’s pop­u­la­tion went up 30 per cent...or about 15,000 new res­i­dents, and that’s go­ing to take a long time to hap­pen...That still doesn’t even take them to 50 per cent ca­pac­ity.”

Par­tic­i­pate in the On­tario Health Study

Michael Madden

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