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HomeNewsCity reverses course on mandatory water and sewer hook-ups for some residents

City reverses course on mandatory water and sewer hook-ups for some residents

KAWARTHA LAKES-The city appears to be backing off of a mandatory hook-up for water and sewer for some residents.

There are twenty-one (21) municipal residential drinking water systems and six (6) municipal wastewater systems throughout Kawartha Lakes. The City says the costs of operating, maintaining and improving these systems is a strain on the existing users.
In 2005 Council passed a by-law requiring mandatory connection to municipal systems.  This by-law was revisited and updated in 2014 (By-Law 2014-255) at the direction of Council. At the time of this by-law update, there were approximately 160 properties within Kawartha Lakes that had access to municipal water and wastewater systems but were not yet connected to City systems. The City began to phase-in the connection of properties in Fenelon Falls before implementing the policy City-wide according to officials.

Garnet Watts will turn 80 years old in the fall. His wife Joanne Hurren is 78. The couple moved to County Road 121, just outside of Fenelon Falls 15 years ago after selling the family farm. They both told Kawartha 411 last year,  they feel the city threatened them with a $100,000 fine or police involvement if they didnt comply with the Mandatory Connection By-law. “When they first sent the big envelope in the mail to us it said we would be in jail, we could be forced to pay a fine or be taken out by law enforcement.” Joanne told Kawartha 411.

Read their story here: https://www.kawartha411.ca/2017/07/24/elderly-couple-says-they-were-threatened-with-100000-fine-and-police-if-they-didnt-hook-up-to-city-water-services/

During the Special Council meeting held on Tuesday, Bryan Robinson, Director of Public Works and Amber Hayter, Supervisor of Water and Wastewater Operations, presented to Council conclusions about the Fenelon Falls experiment and outlined a new plan for water and wastewater connections.

The Fenelon Falls porject consisted of 25 eligible properties. Only two properties complied with the by-law and connected to municipal water and/or wastewater services according to the presentation. The remaining 92% of the pilot group were granted a conditional exemption whereby only the fixed rate fees to maintain the system were paid.

In order to rollout an effective City-wide program, staff recommended to Council that the 2014 by-law be amended to require connection to City services only when the private infrastructure (well or septic system) fails. This is believed to be the best time for residents to invest in the connection as they are already facing a significant investment.

Property owners currently required to pay the fixed rate will continue to pay the fees as listed above. These fees will help take care of the City’s vast water and sewer infrastructure and reduce the financial pressures on current users.

The full report will be reviewed by Council on September 25, 2018.

*Based on 2018 rates these are the annual fixed rates for water and wastewater services.

&nbspphoto credit: .scribe Drip via photopin (license)

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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