Let’s be fru­gal in Maxville

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - STEVEN WARBURTON

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.