Mandatory sewer connection delay

·2 min read

It was recommended five landowners in Glencoe get sewer connections, whether they want them or not. Council voted 4-3 to delay that recommendation.

An issue seen in other growing communities, residents are forced by municipalities to pay for sewer pipes that go by their properties even if they do not want them or already have perfectly functional, isolated sewer systems like a septic tank or field.

“All five have responded; all five landowners are not interested at this particular point in the mandatory connection to the sanitary system. There are many reasons involved with that: can be anything from health issues to financing in the future,” explained director of operations Greg Storms to council at its May 25 meeting.

“And mostly that’s because these particular property owners, there systems are working fine the way they are,” he added.

Storms told council he was obligated to make the mandatory connection recommendation because it was hard to go against what he described as legislative requirements. The Southwest Middlesex official plan does stipulate that all development in Glencoe and Wardsville be connected to the sewage system.

Storms’ report does include the finance department providing payment options to landowners to cover connection costs estimated to be $75,000, which would have been split between the five landowners on Bute and Montrose Streets.

“The reason that we’d be bringing this forward at this point is the fact that there is redevelopment of some of the street, so it’s the most efficient time to do it when there’s construction under way. A future point in time is likely to be more expensive to the property owners,” explained CAO Jill Bellchamber-Glazier.

Coun. Christa Cowell moved that the report be received and file, essentially shelving it and delaying the infrastructure work.

Any development on empty lots cannot go ahead until they are connected to water and sewer, as per the official plan and zoning rules. A temporary use permit can get around this but is meant, as its name suggests, to be a temporary solution.

Mayor Allen Mayhew described the conundrum when speaking to treasurer Kristen McGill during the meeting.

“We fully realize that though it may be exceptionally inconvenient at this time for these homeowners to connect, we do realize that in the future down the road, that it is inevitable that these properties will have to connect to our system,” said Mayhew.

Treasurer McGill said 20-25-year financing options could be made available to the land owners. She did not yet have an estimate on what that cost would be per month when asked by Mayhew.

Storms added that when sewer and sanitary work go in, the road would also get an upgrade.

Mayor Mayhew voted against filing the recommendation for another day, as did councilors Doug Bartlett and Mark McGill.

Chris Gareau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner

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