‘153 pages...to do nothing?’
South Glengarry council recently approved getting a “second opinion” on its Glen Walter Area Water and Waste Water Master Servicing Plan Study.
“I’m disappointed with the initial work (the report from WSP’s Cornwall office)...and I’m supportive of going with the peer review (by EVB Consulting for an additional $5,000),” Councillor Stephanie Jaworski said during the February 21 regular meeting. Fellow councillor Sam McDonell concurred. “I’m not against spending that $5,000 to get a better answer. That was a very disappointing presentation by WSP,” said Coun. McDonell.
“It was what, 153 pages, just to say, ‘Do nothing’?”
WSP was initially awarded the RFP (Request for Proposal) for the Master Servicing Plan – as per their submission of $144,338 plus HST – in October 2016, with the study to have been submitted to the previous council in August 2017. However, according to township general manager of infrastructure services Ewen MacDonald, “internal changes” at WSP resulted in the report (in draft form) not being completed until the fall of 2018.
WSP presented the draft Master Plan Study at the November 5 regular meeting, but the previous council rejected it over concerns with the findings – primarily what they perceived as a lack of thoroughness.
Some councillors believed the plan was supposed to cover future servicing for the entire study area from Boundary Road, east, to Rae Road, and from County Road 2, north, to Tyotown Road, but WSP overlooked four subdivisions in the study area – Bayview Estates, Farlingers Point, Sapphire Estates, and Sutherland Drive – after a door-to-door survey of residents in those communities failed to uncover any issues with the status quo.
Given those results, WSP was recommend- ing the municipality leave those areas as-is for the foreseeable future – an opinion that did not go over well with the previous council, nor with the majority of the current municipal body.
Mr. MacDonald’s staff report prepared for the February 21 council session states that the “objective of developing a Master Servicing Plan was to conduct a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment...in order to identify a phased solution to provide water and wastewater service in the most efficient manner possible that will support the existing population and foreseen growth within the study area.”
The present water and wastewater infrastructure layout in Glen Walter consists of both private well and septic systems, as well as municipal water and wastewater servicing.
The township has proprietary rights to all the data collected by WSP for the draft plan study and will turn it over to EVB for their reassessment.
“A peer review of engineering firms is a fairly common practice,” Mr. MacDonald explained recently. “It’s done pretty much 100 per cent of the time in subdivision designs, stormwater management ponds, and those types of things. It’s like a second opinion in the medical field.”
$55,000 from coffers
The township has thus far dipped into its own coffers to the tune of $53,241.24 to help defray the cost of the Master Servicing Plan Study.
In April 2017, the municipality was approved for a Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF) grant for the completion of an update to the existing Glen Walter Master Servicing Plan, released in 2008. The eligible cost for the project, through the CWWF, was $146,733.31, with provincial and federal grant contributions totalling $93,492.07 and the township ponying up the remainder.