By Jamie Mountain
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
TEMAGAMI – Work to repair Temagami’s water towers has been delayed until the spring of 2021.
Each year, the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) provides recommendations regarding capital repairs to Temagami’s water and wastewater systems.
With the amended Environmental Compliance Approval being approved by the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks, the municipality is required to have its ultraviolet filtration system operational by April 30, 2025.
There are also repairs needed at both the north and south water towers, which brings the municipality up to a cost of $1,650,000.
The repairs were originally expected to be carried out in October, but in his report to council at their September 17 regular meeting, treasurer-administrator Craig Davidson said that they now will be completed next spring.
“OCWA has brought in another company to review Landmark Municipal Services’ reports and they’re doing a couple of comments and they did a brief site visit and one of the first comments they had is if we’re looking at an October time for the (repair) job, that it might not give enough time to when we have freeze-up,” Davidson explained.
“The present plan now is to spend some time this fall and early winter to make sure that we are looking at the work that needs to be done and then complete it in the spring. That way, the paint has more time to cure inside the towers. Where the paint was bubbling, this company said that probably last time there wasn’t enough time for the paint to cure before it got refilled, so that’s why it was blistering.”
LONG-TERM DEBT APPROVED
In the absence of external funding or the acquisition of long-term debt, some of the repair projects were beyond the ability of Temagami’s water and wastewater systems to pay.
Council agreed at their August 6 meeting for the municipality to apply for long-term debt through Infrastructure Ontario, which Davidson said at the Sept. 17 meeting had been approved.
But prior to any debt being accessed, Davidson noted that there will need to be a bylaw considered by council.
“There will be a bylaw (that council will have to pass) at some point in time, but we don’t need to look at a bylaw until we’re going to be requesting advances in the money,” he said.
“It hasn’t left the radar screen, it’s just now if we’re not going to be doing the water towers next month, we don’t necessarily have to pass the bylaw but we do have the approval in place.”
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker