Let’s be frugal in Maxville
Brian Caddell is likely to face a fair degree of criticism for comments he made about Maxville, specifically about the community’s ongoing water project and North Glengarry council’s decision to approve nearly $240,000 of additional roadwork there. Mr. Caddell has long been of the opinion that the water project – which has a total budget of $30 million – has the potential to sink the township in debt.
The Lochiel Ward Councillor – who is running as Deputy-Mayor in the upcoming municipal election – was not mollified when he was told that the water project is $700,000 under budget. At North Glengarry’s July 23 meeting, he claimed that upgrades to Maxville’s water treatment plant are likely to be more expensive than anticipated. He also expressed concern – as did Mayor Chris McDonell – that the province might not make good on its pledge to provide an additional $4.5 million to the project.
His fellow councillors – who did not share his pessimism – agreed to the additional roadwork, stating that the $700,000 available could accommodate this extra work. Mr. Caddell, obviously, was unhappy with the decision. He may very well be the biggest “penny-pincher” on council but that doesn’t mean his perspective is incorrect. In fact, you could even argue that he’s being fiscally responsible.
Of the Maxville Water Project’s $30 million price tag, 25 per cent of it – roughly $7.5 million – is to come from municipal coffers. Last fall, the township announced that the project will prompt an increase of at least $98 a year for water and sewer users in Alexandria and Maxville. It could jump as much as $200. It all depends on how much extra money the township is able to procure from outside sources, like the province.
In addition to that, Maxville water users will also be faced with a one-time hookup fee of about $2,600 in order to get their properties attached to the system. When that happens, plenty of residents are going to be looking for as much relief as possible. It’s unlikely that council will be able to partially fund that $2,600 fee – residents would pay that money to independent contractors, not the township, and North Glengarry is only able to spend the money on township expenses.
Perhaps, any additional funding could go toward subsidizing water bills, at least for the first year so that ratepayers will have more breathing room after paying the hookup fee.