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HomeNewsCouncil reconsiders mandatory water and sewer hook-up bylaw

Council reconsiders mandatory water and sewer hook-up bylaw

KAWARTHA LAKES-There might be some relief coming for residents who are at risk of being forced to hook up to City water and sewer even though they already have a well and septic.

The City of Kawartha Lakes first endorsed the Mandatory Connection bylaw in 2005. In the bylaw was reviewed by various departments with a number of deficiencies
identified. A new by-law was created and passed in 2014 to the address concerns.

By-law 2014-255 “A By-Law to Require Owners of
Buildings to Connect Such Buildings to Drinking Water
Systems and/or Wastewater Collection Systems in the
City of Kawartha Lakes”

Implementation was planned on a phased-in approach with an initial pilot group of 36 properties subject to mandatory connection requirements. 11 properties removed from pilot due to restrictions on wastewater capacity at the time, 22 out of 25 properties received conditional exemption by Council to connect until such time as wastewater services available, but required to pay fixed rate portion of user rates, 2 properties connected and 1 remained out of compliance.

In September 2017 the  By-law was amended to charge those properties that meet the
requirements for mandatory connection the annual fixed rate costs for the service(s) available to them after 3 month notice. The revenue was earmarked to help cover basic costs for maintenance and replacement of existing infrastructure.

In 2018 the timing for physical connection requirements amended from 18 months after receiving Director’s Notice to upon failure of existing private infrastructure. (private well and or septic)

Today there are 134 properties on the list for mandatory connection.

At Monday’s special council meeting staff made a presentation outlining the  potential impacts if the bylaw was rescinded.

  • Loss of revenue from fixed rate, increased pressures
    on existing users, approx. $58,000/year
  • Inability to force new development in serviced areas to
    connect, resulting in ineffective development
  • Introduction of potential Transport Pathways in Source
    Water Protection vulnerable areas.
  • Potential impacts to environment and health of
  • Properties currently connected to municipal services
    could choose to disconnect and use private services

Councillor Pat Dunn questioned some of those “impacts” “I’m going to work my way through those bullet points there” Dunn said.

“So on the potential impact to environment, the health of residents, now when I read that to me thats a statement.” Dunn said. It either is or it isn’t, if it is, if by not doing it we are having a negative impact on our residents health we should be running water lines and sewer lines to every corner of the city but we chose not to do that because we can’t afford it. So it’s actually a financial statement. I really have a hard time accepting that as an argument for mandatory hook-up.”

Bryan Robinson, Director of Public Works” said staff would do whatever council directed them to do. “Council can choose to do whatever council wants to do. We can rewrite a bylaw to mandate that any newly developed property must connect and the all of the 134 people that are eligible for mandatory connection right now be exempt from connecting, we can do whatever council chooses. But the staff recommendation is that they continue on with the connection process based on what’s happened all over the  province.”

“I’ve never bought into that argument” Dunn stated. “My mother when I used to say all the other kids were doing it she didn’t buy into it either.”

According to the staff report the city is losing $58,000 in user rates per year that could be collected from the 134 properties if they were forced to connect.

“$58,000 year, what’s the impact to the current water and sewer users?” Dunn asked.  “Do you know how much more a year that will cost me as a water and sewer customer if these people don’t pay?”

No one knew off hand but after a few moments it was calculated to be about $4.14 per year, per current customer.

Dunn put forward a motion to have staff come back with options to amend the bylaw in order to exempt or grandfather in those 134 properties from mandatory connection.

The motion passed.








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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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