BROCKTON – The municipality’s mandatory water and sanitary sewer connection bylaw had been tabled at the May 10 council meeting pending a review by the solicitor.
Clerk Fiona Hamilton reported to council that the solicitor has reviewed the bylaw and made no changes or additions to it.
The bylaw was passed at the July 12 meeting with little discussion.
The report presented to council stated that Brockton has three drinking water systems – Chepstow, with 21 properties, Lake Rosalind, with 60, and Walkerton with approximately 2,100. There is one waste water treatment system – in Walkerton.
If existing water and sanitary sewers are reasonably close to an existing or newly developed property, it is expected the property owner will hook up to them.
The mandatory connection bylaw states that “any new residential, commercial, industrial or institutional construction … must connect, at the property owner’s expense, either immediately … or within six months of the municipal water and/or wastewater collection system being commissioned.”
The report stated the bylaw is not designed to be punitive, but is aimed at safeguarding property owners by having them connected to the municipal system.
At present, there are people who are hooked up only to sewers. Only water is metered, meaning they aren’t paying into the system.
Hamilton said there is an important financial component to the matter. “You want to build the infrastructure,” but if the development doesn’t have the expected number of users on the system, “that has a significant burden on the remainder of the tax base.” She stressed that this ensures the project is cost-effective for taxpayers.
Mayor Chris Peabody said, “I did think this is needed in the community. If we do have people who are just interested in using our sewer, it’s an imposition on everyone who’s hooked up and paying. I’m not even sure that we can meter sewage that’s going out, or if we’d want to. We do need the comprehensive package … people on water, people on sewer, and everyone paying into the system. I think that’s important for equity.”
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times