Inverhuron & District Ratepayers Association
94 OR 42%
51 OR 54%
NOT IN FAVOUR
25 OR 27%
34 OR 36%
P.C OF SENT OUT
NOT IN FAVOUR
Inverhuron water issues cause financial worries
FROM THE KINCARDINE NEWS SECTION LRTTERS AS OF JULY 7,2009
I had hoped never to put pen to paper over any issues with respect to this community.
However, the property owners of Inverhuron are faced with a difficult situation.
Our Municipal Council applied for, and got, a grant of $6 million based on the provision of a sewer line through Inverhuron.
I attended a meeting on Saturday, which was long on chat and short on any real information.
This grant only covers approximately 64% of the costs, and our council is expecting this area to pick up the additional charges.
At this point we have a very blurry projection of $9 million, subject to change of course.
This leaves a very small tax base of individuals to pick up the remaining charges.
This is not good news to me at all. I am extremely concerned about the costs involved.
Grant money of this nature is given by the government to improve the conditions of people living in this province, not to place additional financial burdens, but to improve their quality of life.
I would ask the council how they would feel to be facing probably $20,000 in costs when a person is retired and on a fixed income.
Personally I am horrified that this council actually has the power to mandate these costs.
From that meeting last week I would like to share some of my concerns, and also my observations on how business has been conducted in this hamlet in the past.
1.We have severe flooding in various areas every Spring.
There has been no permanent fix to this ongoing problem, i.e., the gentleman who lives behind me canoes to his property every Spring. It's a good thing he is a canoeist and a swimmer.
2.The gentlemen who advised B.M. Ross & Associates
at this meeting that he had just put in a new well and septic system ($16,000). He was gracious enough to laugh about this.
3. The lady on Lake Street who told us
that due to ongoing construction she has not been able to drive to her home for some time as the property is so badly torn up.
4.The gentleman who talked about his century old cottage
and the pristine condition of the property. He is very concerned about a road going behind him.
5.And last but not least -
the ultimate example of mismanagement: A gentleman stood up and told the meeting that he lived on a unmaintained road and asked if this road would be maintained in future. He got a fire hydrant installed due to our last great project, (the water line). Of course there is no way to get to it for six months of the year. I guess we have fires only in the summer.
There will be many individuals who would welcome this sewer line, and desperately need it. Some can shoulder the cost, others cannot. What I would hope to see is something that can address all these various situations in a fair and equitable manner.
My closing remark is for the mayor and the councillors of this municipality.
I feel you should rethink your original decision.
Fix the flooding and bring a sewer of some nature to those who require it.
This is a "shoot first, and then try and catch the bullet" way of doing business which is a dangerous practice when running a municipality.
Do not place this on the backs of the taxpayers of Inverhuron.
Collecting Drinking Water Samples From Private Wells This Spring
BMROSS have partnered with the Grey Bruce Health Unit to continue collecting drinking water samples from private wells this spring in the community of Inverhuron.
Staff will be in the community on April 5th (Easter Monday) and May 24th (Victoria Day Monday)
and available to collect water samples from property owners who are on private wells.
Participating property owners will be provided with a Best Management Practices for Water Wells information kit produced by the Province of Ontario.
A supply of water sample bottles will also be provided so that well owners can take additional samples throughout the year as required.
A letter to Inverhuron property owners regarding the water sampling program will be mailed out this week.
As a follow-up to the Jan. 15th Steering Committee meeting a brochure on the importance of well maintenance and regular water sampling will be included in the mailing.
Information on where to pick-up and drop-off water sample bottles is included in the brochure for those property owners who wish to sample their well water.
Pamela L. Scharfe, CPHI(C)
B.M. Ross and Associates Limited
62 North Street
Goderich ON N7A 2T4
RESIDENTS, COTTAGERS CONCERNED MANDATORY WATER, SEWAGE HOOKS NOT AFFORDABLE
The Kincardine Independent
Post Date: 21/07/2010
By Barb McKay
Hooking up to the municipal water and sewage systems could cost Inverhuron residents thousands of dollars, but remaining on private systems could be dangerous, according to local water quality experts.
Inverhuron residents and cottagers packed council chambers Saturday morning for a public meeting hosted by the municipality to get public input into what project engineers are calling the 'best alternative' - to making a connection to the Kincardine water and sewage system mandatory. The plan would connect properties in the mostly densely populated areas of Inverhuron to the municipal system. Those properties already hooked up to municipal water and sewage through previous expansions are not included in the proposed extension.
Other options that had been considered included extending only the water lines, extending only the sewage system, or leaving residents on private wells and septic systems.
Residents listened intently to presentations by local hydrogeology expert Brian Luinstra, environmental planner Kelly Vadar, of BM Ross & Associates, and Pat Scarfe, a former public health inspector who is now project manager for BM Ross and Associates. All three pointed to problems with drinking water quality in Inverhuron.
Luinstra, who provided a detailed look into the geology of the area, raised his concerns about a very vulnerable aquifer, which could be easily contaminated. Inverhuron has a thick layer of bedrock, with a maze of deep fractions that run through it where water flows. The problem, he noted, is that the protective ground covering, known as the overburden, is very thin. This allows groundwater to travel into the aquifer, which is the drinking water supply. Private wells can also act as a transporter of contaminates from the surface to the aquifer.
"We don't have a lot of that overburden cover to act as a protective barrier to the aquifer," Luinstra said. "The activities at the surface, there's a high probability they can impact the aquifer."
A total of 40 private wells, out of the roughly 275 properties in the study area, were tested for water quality in 2009 and 2010 as part of the process to determine the best solution for servicing Inverhuron homes and cottages. Scarfe was troubled by the results. Of the wells tested, 11 had poor water quality, three of which were contaminated with e coli bacteria.
"The alarming thing was, only one property owner had a treatment system on their property," Scarfe said. "One person thought they had pristine water and they had e coli."
She found that many residents did not routinely test for water quality and residents had been drinking contaminated water for an undetermined amount of time.
If drinking water quality wasn't bad enough, Scarfe found that more than 60 per cent of properties did not have enough space for a septic system, according to Ontario Building Code standards. Some homes were sharing septic systems and many properties had septic tanks that were over 40 years old. The life span of a septic system is estimated to be 30 years. The most concerning find for project engineers was the close proximity of septic tanks and leaching beds to wells.
"It creates a perfect storm for the highly vulnerable aquifer," said Vadar.
It was these findings that led engineers to recommend that municipal water lines be extended to properties included in the study area and that properties be hooked up to a low pressure gravity sewage system. They also determined that a pumping station should be constructed in Inverhuron.
"It (option chosen) addressed the risk associated with the geology of Inverhuron," said Vadar, who noted the option requires very little maintenance and is cost effective.
The recommendations did not sit well with some residents who were concerned they wouldn't be able to afford the costs of closing their wells and septic tanks and connecting to the public systems.
How can people open their chequebooks today and hand over $20,000," asked Marelle Evans, whose home sits at the end of a 200-foot driveway, and hookups to her home will be costly. She said she was afraid she may have to sell her home.
Kincardine councillor Laura Haight said Evans shouldn't worry just yet.
"In the end it may not be part of the service area," she said.
Under pressure to produce real numbers for residents who will have to pay for the hook ups, BM Ross president Bruce Potter stressed the costs would not be as astronomical as some thought. Rumoured estimates have been anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 per property.
"What I can tell you is that it will probably be a bit above the $5,000, but it absolutely will not be $40,000," he said. "I'm hesitant to give you any more than that because you people will hang me if I'm five per cent above that."
Potter said the municipality could look at options to either lower costs or make them easier to swallow, including subsidizing costs by applying them to future developments in the community, or by setting up payment plans. The municipality will be receiving a grant of up to $6 million from the provincial and federal governments as part of the Build Canada fund to cover two-thirds of the cost of project, estimated at approximately $9 million. Costs could change depending on what the bid prices are when the project is tendered. Even if estimates rise, the governments will only kick in $6 million. The town has until 2016 to finish the project in order to receive grant money.
Resident Rick McInroy questioned where the extra money would come from if the project were to go over budget.
"The bottom line is, can you afford this," he asked councillors present at the meeting, which received resounding applause. "Come on guys, they're spending our money."
Councillor Randy Roppel, answered that municipal money from tax contributions was part of the mix of funds.
Not all in attendance were against the project. Don Bird, a seasonal resident who hails from Vancouver, has been spending his summers in Inverhuron since he was a child.
"It's a great idea," he said. "I've been coming here all my life and there have always been water issues, so I'm very much in favour of getting this done."
Project planners will begin the engineering design for the project this Fall. In Spring 2011 the environmental assessment of the study area will be finalized and a final public meeting will be held to review the findings, then the project will be turned over to Kincardine council for approval. If it gets the go ahead, water and sewer system extensions could begin as early as Fall 2011.
Financial water planning for municipalities mandatory
The Kincardine News
Post Date: Apr 27 , 2011
The Ontario government is moving towards requiring municipalities to implement a full cost recovery system in their wastewater financial plans, and as a result municipal customers can expect to see larger increases in their rates over the next several years to compensate.
Craig Binning of Hemson Consulting, the company contracted to perform a rate study and compile the financial plan, has recommended a 5% increase to municipal water rates in 2012, a 4% increase in 2013, then a 3% increase a year until 2020.
"We want to increase the rates more in 2012 so that in subsequent years the increase drops and levels, allowing a gradual increase to municipal reserves while remaining prudent and conscious of rate payers," said Binning.
Rates in the municipality presently stand at $ 0.78/ cubic metre for Kincardine, which includes Armow, Underwood and Scott's Point. Prices for Tiverton are $ 0.99/ cubic metre. Tiverton's rates are higher because residents specifically requested to be on a separate system with fewer users.
The typical Kincardine household, which uses both sewer and water, currently pays $ 855 per year. In 2012 that number will increase to $897. Likewise, for Tiverton customers, the 2011 fee is $ 987 and the calculated 2012 fee will rise to $1,037.
"It's a shocking presentation when we see what water and sewer will cost the municipality and individual users under new provincial regulations," said councillor Ron Coristine.
Rates in the Municipality of Kincardine sit near the middle of rates from eight surrounding municipalities.
Households which just use municipal water and not sewer are looking at an increase of $25 to $550 for 2012 in Kincardine and an increase of $ 33 to $ 690 in Tiverton. The Ministry of the Environment now requires a Financial Plan to be submitted to receive a Municipal Drinking Water License and the Municipality of Kincardine must submit their's by May 12. Hemson Consulting has made recommendations to council to implement such a full cost recovery system.
Council reviewed the study on Wednesday, April 21 and has accepted it as presented. Hemson will now create the financial plan and return to council of May 4 for final approval.
Inverhuron pipeline EA nears completion
The Kincardine News
June 22 , 2011
By JENNIFER SCHLEICH
The Inverhuron Environmental Assessment for bringing water and sewer to Inverhuron is nearing completion.
Municipality of Kincardine council has agreed to support a full low pressure system with mandatory connection.
The decision comes in the wake of the EA, which determined the current septic system is high risk for
contaminating ground and well water.
"The bedrock geology is 3/4 of a metre below the surface and is extremely porous," said Kelly Vader of BM Ross.
The sceptic systems are older, poorly maintained and too close to wells, increasing the likelihood of groundwater and
well contamination, she added.
Deputy Mayor Anne Eadie agreed with the BM Ross consultants, telling council hookup should be mandatory.
"Because of the environmental risk we must follow due diligence and require residents to hook up," said Eadie.
The previous Kincardine Pipeline project, which brought water to some Inverhuron residents, was not mandatory.
However, all residents of Inverhuron will be required to hook up after the Inverhuron Water and Sanitary Sewage
project is complete.
A base water charge of $7,700 will be applied to all customers in the service area. Customers who paid more to hook
up to the Kincardine pipeline in the past will receive a rebate to create an even playing field, said Public Works
Manager Jim O'Rourke.
"It would be really silly for people to not hook up, they would be giving up $6 million in benefits.
They are getting a $28,000 (per person) project, for $12,800," said Mayor Larry Kraemer.
The Municipality of Kincardine received $6 million as part of the Building Canada Fund and has until 2016 to spend the
funding, said Bruce Potter of BM Ross.
Potter said the Municipality wouldn't be able to force residents to decommission their wells, however there would be regulations preventing the well water and pipeline water from being connected.
"If people want to water their gardens with their wells you can't stop them," he said.
The decommissioning of a septic system on the other hand, would be required to receive a connection permit to the
A full low pressure system in Inverhuron was chosen over the options of a hybrid system and a full gravity system. The low pressure system came in significantly cheaper at $12,875, compared to the full gravity system at $28, 975 per person
"Maintaining the low pressure system will cost the same as maintaining the three large pumping stations in the full
gravity system," said O'Rourke.
He told council the Township of North Wellington uses the low pressure system in some places and "has found it
extremely useful and financially practical."
"A pump costs about $4,500 with a total cost of $8,000 including installation. North Wellington has had grinder pumps for approximately 30 years and has just started replacing them, with an estimate of about 10 a year," he added. Council will have little to no maintenance costs for the first 10 years of this system as well.
Usually grinder pumps are maintained by the property owner. However, if the municipality goes with the low pressure
system council has agreed to own and maintain all the grinder pumps in Inverhuron and keep a plumber on retainer.
"There was a lot of public concern about grinder pumps because many residents in Inverhuron are seasonal and are
not here to maintain them," said Potter.
O'Rourke told council the Municipality will assume the grinder pumps in a hybrid system as well, but will require
residents to pay a monthly surcharge. With a full gravity system some properties will still require grinder pumps and the
municipality won't maintain them in that case.
The largest concern council had was about its ability to identify a malfunction in the system.
"How do we identify there is a problem and gain access to a season property?" asked councillor Candy Hewitt.
Potter said the pumps are outside and access will not be an issue. He agreed identifying that a problem exists is a
concern but the committee is working on it.
"There will be an alarm system that will alert us if a pump isn't working. We only expect problems to arise over the winter if cottagers don't turn off their water properly," he said.
Councillor Randy Roppel was set against the system.
"I think we should do full gravity, and only use grinder pumps where we have to," he said.
Councillor Maureen Couture wanted to know what the downside to the system was.
"It is popularly accepted that low pressure systems are inferior but there isn't a lot of data to back that up.
Tanks today are very improved from 30 years ago," said O'Rourke.
The final public meeting for the Inverhuron EA will be held on Saturday, July 9 at the Municipal Administration Centre.
Inverhuron EA Guiding Principles PASSED
THE CORPORATION OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF KINCARDINE Council Agenda of 29 Wednesday July 6, 2011
THAT the Council of the Municipality of Kincardine supports the following
Guiding Principles in regards to the Inverhuron Environmental Assessment:
i) the water charge for the Inverhuron project be calculated to
reflect the Year 1 charge for the Kincardine Lakeshore pipeline
project, plus CPI, plus fire charge, plus reserve charge
(currently estimated to be $7,700);
ii) there will be a mandatory connection policy for the Inverhuron
water and sanitary sewage servicing project, and the bylaw for
the Kincardine Pipeline project will be amended to require
mandatory connection for Inverhuron;
iii) the Municipality will assume the ownership and maintenance of
all grinder units installed as part of the option for full low
pressure system with no additional charge to the annual sewer
charge. Should a hybrid system (part gravity, part low
pressure) be selected, a premium would be considered in the
annual sewer charge for the customers using the grinder units;
iv) the requirement of the capital and reserve charge be included in the
Inverhuron Water and Sewage project. These charges currently
consist of a capital and reserve charge of $1,775 for the sewage
component and reserve charge of $300 for the water component
Inverhuron sewer and water not a popular project
Judging from the response from Inverhuron residents Saturday morning, the proposed water and sewer project in their neighbourhood is not very popular.
More than 100 people jammed the Kincardine council chamber for the public meeting held in relation to the Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project which would bring watermains and sewer lines to the hamlet west of Tiverton, along the shore of Lake Huron.
Bruce Potter and Kelly Vader of B.M. Ross and Associates, Kincardine's municipal engineers, outlined the proposal which has been studied by a steering committee since Oct. 30, 2009. On that committee were five members of the public, municipal staff and councillors, Grey Bruce Health Unit, and the municipal engineers.
Surveys were done through the summer of 2009, said Vader, including 126 on-site surveys. Data was also collected on wells and septic systems, and water samples collected, where possible.
The age of septic systems in the on-site surveys was determined, with the majority between 21-40 years old, some older, and some of indeterminate age.
Vader said the problem is that the existing sewer and water infrastructure in the Inverhuron settlement area is insufficient to service the current population. Also, the age and condition of existing services pose a potential health risk to the community based on the density of development and factors associated with the current environmental setting.
The engineers proposed three servicing alternatives:
1. Hybrid model - combination of gravity and low pressure (grinder pumps)
2. Gravity - one large and two smaller sewage pumping stations, with some grinder pumps for properties in low-lying areas. The large pumping station proposed to sit in the corner of McIntyre Park
3. Low pressure - no sewage pumping stations required
The alternatives were presented to the steering committee and the majority agreed with the low pressure system which is also the cheapest, requires no pumping stations, and the municipality has agreed to own and maintain the grinder pumps.
Council has also endorsed a base water rate charge, a mandatory connection policy, and capital and reserve charges for water and sewage.
The mandatory connection means that any property owner who had access to the lakeshore water pipeline (built 10 years ago) will have to hook up now and that money goes toward the old pipeline project. Anyone who did not have access to the pipeline will have to hook up but that money goes toward this Inverhuron infrastructure project.
If council approves the low pressure system with grinder pumps, the cost per landowner would be about $13,000, which includes a base water charge of $7,700 (including capital contribution of $300), and $5,175 for sewers (including capital contribution of $1,775).
Potter said homeowners may have additional costs for electrical panel upgrades (up to $500-$600), plumbing permit, plumbing installation to residence, and the quarterly sewer and water bills.
The next steps, said Vader, is to collect additional public and agency input, meet with the steering committee in the fall and make a final recommendation to council. Once the Environmental Screening Report is completed, a public notice of study completion will be done, likely later this fall.
Councillor Maureen Couture, planning policy chairperson, and deputy mayor Anne Eadie, public works policy chairperson, and the municipal engineers and staff fielded questions from the audience.
When asked about the payment options, Potter said in the past, the municipality allowed for full remittance of the charge, or payment over a set number of years.
Don Stewart asked what happens to the existing sewers on Lake Street South.
Potter said the road allowance there is narrow, leaving little room for horizontal or vertical distance between water and sewer lines. He said the Inverhuron project calls for replacement of the sewer lines there at no cost to the homeowners who have already paid for the existing sewers.
"Do we need a water line along there?" asked Stewart.
"From a purely technical standpoint, that line does not need to be done," said Potter. "But from a risk standpoint, it should be done, to provide full services to Inverhuron. Council is not interested in having pockets of Inverhuron not serviced."
Donna Evans said her water is fine along Lake Street South, and suggested leaving that area alone.
Marian Glen asked if the proposed project would address the stormwater problems in the area. "I've been there 30 years. Why are you including all of us in a project that all of us don't need?"
Potter said the engineers were not asked to address the stormwater issue on this particular project. If the project moves forward, the municipality would have an opportunity to consider storm sewers at the same time to address flooding issues in Inverhuron, he said.
"We looked at the risk of the water supply due to nearby septic systems," said Potter.
Couture said that council has not made a final decision on this project.
When questioned about the old pipeline project and the $2-million stranded debt, Eadie said that cost is not the responsibility of the people of Inverhuron. Council has to deal with that.
As for flooding in Inverhuron north, public works manager Jim O'Rourke said a municipal drain is the solution for that area, but that has nothing to do with this project either.
One resident said stormwater should have been address in the EA for this project.
Regarding the timeline for the sewer and water project, Potter said once the EA study is completed, likely in November, it goes to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for approval.
If there are appeals, the project could be held up for three to eight months, he said. Following that, a final design would be done, likely next summer, and the earliest the project could begin would be the following year (2013).
The $9-million project received two-thirds funding from the federal and provincial governments, with the condition that it must be completed by March 31, 2016. If it is not completed by then, the grants disappear, said Potter.
Rick McInroy was concerned that nobody has actual costs for the project.
"You want to pump us Kincardine water, which is not great water and which does not have a great track record," he said. "And the best costing you can give us is a guesstimate. This is good overall information but you're a bit short on specifics."
He said he understands how the grant money works, but noted the money all comes from the same taxpayers.
Potter said if the grant money doesn't come to Kincardine, it'll go elsewhere, and it still comes from local taxpayers.
"The only people making money are B.M. Ross," shouted one audience member. "This has to stop."
Couture said that when the project is tendered, that's when council will know the actual figures.
One resident said she has no problem with her water or sewers and doesn't see the reason for this project at all.
Eadie said the area does not have problems now, but the risk is there for the future, and the municipality has grant money now to do the project.
"If we're not connecting everybody, then we can't do the project," said Couture.
"Then we don't want it," yelled an audience member.
Inverhuron pipeline connection moratorium
By JENNIFER SCHLEICH,
A moratorium will be placed on connections to the existing pipeline in Inverhuron on Lake St. South until the Inverhuron Environmental Assessment is complete and council has chosen a path forward.
"There is a possibility people on the east side of Lake St. could connect to the old project and our suggestion is to do a moratorium until the new project is constructed," said Bruce Potter of BM Ross.
BM Ross is concerned work around and to the existing pipeline during the construction of the new system will become more costly and difficult if people continue to hook up to the existing pipeline in the meantime.
The moratorium would be lifted on a case by case basis if a homeowner had an emergency, such as the failure of their septic system.
"If someone's septic system failed we wouldn't want them to go out and repair or replace it we would want them to connect, but we don't want everyone jumping on the bandwagon right now," said Potter.
Council agreed to halt new connections for the time being. It also remains in favour of the low pressure system with grinder pumps.
Aside from the significant disparity in cost, a low pressure system would avoid placing pumping stations in the park.
Cottagers on Lake Street South, Inverhuron, reject new waterline
By Liz Dadson
The owners of 40-plus cottages along Lake Street South, Inverhuron, have rejected the proposal to rip up their roadway and install new water and sewer lines.
Don Stewart, on behalf of the cottagers, spoke to Kincardine council in committee-of-the-whole Wednesday night (Aug. 10,2011).
He said the proposed water and sewer project in Inverhuron includes tearing up and replacing the existing sewer line on Lake Street South at a project cost of at least $500,000.
"This line was put in around 1992 to service the 40-odd cottages on the west side of Lake Street South from Bruce County Road 15 to Pine Street," said Stewart. "It was built with the capacity to provide future service to the cottages on the east side as well and, subsequently, some have connected."
He noted the $800,000 sewer line has existed long enough to know that it works very well, but not so long that it needs replacing.
Stewart presented council with a petition, bearing signatures from 37 of 40 cottages, and he expected to obtain the remaining signatures by the weekend.
He said the group supports council on a total sewer solution, but has less support for hooking up to a new water line, particularly if it means digging up the existing sewer line along that section of Lake Street.
Referring to minutes from before the existing sewer line was installed, Stewart said, at that time, the water component was not an issue for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE). In fact, the minutes from June 13, 1991, state that if the sewage problem on that street could be rectified, the MOE had no concern about the water.
Stewart said several properties on Lake Street South have already connected to the water line along Victoria in the Lime Kiln area. Many properties have deep drilled wells which test fine, and those properties still needing water could be connected via a few spur lines from Victoria Street, Bruce Road 15 or Pine Street.
"This approach would certainly be cheaper for the project as a whole," said Stewart. "In fact, does connection to the Kincardine water line (lakeshore water pipeline) have to be mandatory at all?"
He asked that the committee representing the cottagers hooked up to the Lake Street South sewer line, be allowed to speak with the municipal engineers, the Inverhuron water and sewer project steering committee, and council to explore alternatives under the proposed plan.
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said this is a reasonable request, to have this group speak with Bruce Potter and Kelly Vader of B.M. Ross and Associates and get their opinion on the proposal by the cottagers.
"I agree a meeting should be held," said councillor Maureen Couture.
Stewart said the life expectancy of the existing sewer line is about 50 years.
Council agreed to have the cottagers committee meet with the engineers and the steering committee about these concerns, as soon as possible.
Inverhuron cottages want council to reconsider Lake St. sewers
By JENNIFER SCHLEICH,
A committee representing 40-plus Inverhuron cottagers who are hooked up to the current Lake St. South sewer line made an address to council on Wednesday, Aug. 10 over their concerns with the Inverhuron Water and Sewer Project and requested a meeting with the steering committee and engineers BM Ross.
The current proposed plan would have the existing sewer line on Lake St. South torn up and replaced in the process of installing a new water line to the area. To replace the existing sewer would cost between $500,000 and $800,000 according to the committee.
"We are currently enjoying a sewer we paid $800,000 for in 1992 and which has a 50 year life expectancy," said Don Stewart. "We strongly support council's work to establish a complete sewer system but we are less supportive of having a water line if it means the existing sewer needs to be dug up to accommodate the line," he added.
According to Deputy Mayor Anne Eadie, new Ministry of the Environment regulations require sewer lines and water lines to be a certain distance apart, facilitating the need to replace the current sewer line in order to install a new water line on the narrow street.
Councillor Randy Roppel was disappointed to hear about the problem because a little foresight on the part of council could have better prepared the municipality for the current situation.
"I think the sad part of this is, when the sewers were put in on Lake St. South in 1992 these residents wanted us to put in a water line and they were told by council and the MoE that it wasn't necessary," said Roppel.
Stewart Neely, another member of the committee, had some suggestions to avoid the replacement such as spur lines or leaving some cottages on well water.
"Ten of the 40 have direct access to water on Victoria St., of the remaining 30 there are 13 more who could hook up elsewhere. That leaves 17 cottages who couldn't access water currently, we feel there has to be a different solution to eliminate spending $800,000 for 17 cottages to hook up to water," he told council.
The committee reminded council that the well water on Lake St. South has no history of health or environmental problems.
The group was also interested in preserving the natural and rural characteristics of their street.
"In building the previous line, great care was taken to maintain the existing trees and to keep the characteristics of a rural small gravel road. We appreciate that approach from council of the time and we contrast this with the recent installation of sewers on Lake St. N. where the process destroyed the antiquity and aesthetic natural beauty of the street for years to come through indiscriminate clear cutting," wrote the committee in a letter to council.
The group wanted to ensure their unique interests would be taken into consideration.
As a result council has agreed to arrange a meeting with them between BM Ross and the Inverhuron Water and Sewer Project and Environmental Assessment Steering Committee for later this month.
Inverhuron residents survey shows little interest
in water, sewer project
By Liz Dadson
Survey of Inverhuron residents shows little interest in the water and sewer project for which an Environmental Assessment (EA) is being completed by the Municipality of Kincardine.
At the final EA steering committee meeting Friday (Oct. 14), the Inverhuron and District Ratepayers' Association presented a survey that indicated the majority of respondents would not hook up to sewer or water.
Drew Robertson said the survey was sent by mail to 192 residents, and by E-mail to 226 residents, for a total of 418. Of those, 74 responded by mail, and 134 by E-mail, for a total of 206 or 49.2 per cent.
Of the respondents, 81.6 per cent would not hook up to the new water line, and 56.8 per cent would not hook up to the new sewer line; 86.4 per cent would not pay a contribution to capital reserve for sewer and water; and 90.3 per cent said the municipality should also share in the cost of the project.
The EA steering committee has been working with engineers Bruce Potter and Kelly Vader of B.M. Ross and Associates, for two years on this proposal. The final recommendation is to come to council later for a decision.
The $9-million proposed project, to extend water and sewer lines into Inverhuron has received two-thirds funding from the federal and provincial governments.
At the final steering committee meeting, there were still several questions from committee members.
They agreed that if the sewer lines went in, the system would be low-pressure with grinder pumps.
When asked about the municipality paying part of the project cost, Potter said council has no authority to do so. In the past, the benefitting parties paid for the project cost for water and sewer.
Public works manager Jim O'Rourke agreed, saying these are user-pay projects. However, if pipes had to be over-sized for future development, the municipality would pay for that.
Some controversy continued over whether to dig up Lake Street South which already has sanitary sewers, in order to install the new water line. The engineers recommended doing so, even though there would be extra cost, because it would be less disruptive and more efficient.
Committee member Don Stewart said that Inverhuron is a cottage community and does not require the same services as downtown Kincardine.
However, committee member Janis Blackwell disagreed, saying there are health and safety issues for permanent and seasonal residents there.
"That's why we brought this project forward," said Vader. "There is a need to provide full services to this area."
Committee member Rob Noakes asked if Hydro One had been contacted about the increased electricity draw if the grinder pumps all start up at once at the residences in Inverhuron.
Vader said Hydro One has not been contacted.
Committee member Sandy McFadzean said the grinder pumps should be run by the municipality which would pay for the power used.
However, Potter said the municipality has no power service along there to do so.
Committee member Gordon Barr said the Inverhuron ratepayers' association wanted to put forward the following motions/recommendations:
Water hook-up be optional, but pay the capital cost
Waive the capital contribution to reserve charge for sewers
Have the municipality share in the funding of this project
"The steering committee has already made those recommendations to council and council has dealt with them," said councillor Maureen Couture, speaking via conference call.
Potter said the funding grant application was for water and sewer in Inverhuron, so the water portion cannot be withdrawn.
ader was confused as to why Barr would suggest people would pay the capital cost for water ($7,700) but not hook up, when the ratepayers' association survey just indicated people would not pay the $7,700.
"No other municipality I've dealt with has allowed hook-up to be voluntary, except the Kincardine lakeshore waterline," said Potter.
"I think it's a fair compromise to have everyone pay the capital charge for water ($7,700) but then it's optional to connect and you don't have to pay the capital reserve or hook up to the water," said Blackwell.
"I'm hooked up to the current lakeshore pipeline but I'm not connected to the system," said committee member Grant Hopcroft.
"If you do that, you pay the capital cost, but not the $300 to reserve or the $25-per-month-plus-consumption charge," said Potter.
"Nobody is going to pay the $7,700 and not hook up," said McFadzean. "People don't want the water."
The committee agreed on the compromise of allowing people to pay the capital charge but not hook up to the water line.
They also agreed that the $1,775 sewer capital charge should be waived, and that the municipality should be helping to fund the project.
Those recommendations will be incorporated into the report to council by B.M. Ross and Associates.
From there, council will have to determine if it will proceed with the project.
Majority supports Inverhuron low-pressure sanitary system
The Kincardine News 22 Nov 2011
BM Ross presented the final recommendations of the working group for the Class Environmental Assessment for Servicing of Inverhuron tomunicipality of Kincardine council on Nov. 16, who will finally make their decision in December after hearing municipal staff recommendations.
The majority of people support Option 3, which is to service Inverhuron with a full low-pressure sanitary sewer system. However, cost is still a concern for residents and there remain questions over why this has to happen," said Kelly Vader of BM Rross.
If council follows the recommendations outlined by BM Ross Inverhuron residents will be looking a full low pressure sanitary sewer system complete with grinder pumps, which will be owned and maintained by the municipality.
Connection to the sanitary sewer is recommended to be mandatory for all residents.
It was also recommended that residents who installed new septic systems before the Inverhuron EA began, which are less than 10 years old, should be given a grace period of no more than 15 years from the date of installation, in order to make good use of their money. Anyone wishing to make use of the grace period will have to undergo a septic inspection.
However, residents who installed new septic systems after the EA began will not be allowed access to the grace period.
People who have installed systems since the EA began were advised by municipal staff and chose to go ahead anyway, for various reasons. They had a choice so they won't be given a grace period," said Vader.
Because residents have been particularly vocal over the desire to maintain their wells the committee is recommending that all residents will be required to pay the base water capital charge, which will be $7,700 (the charge which was levied when the Kincardine Pipe Line was installed). However, provided their wells are in working order they won't have to connect.
Residents will be able to keep theirwells but must pay the capital charges related to the water line, with the understanding that if future problems are identified they will have to connect," said Bruce Potter of BM Ross.
The other looming problem for the municipality is Lake St. South. Many homeowners on the street are in an uproar that the municipality will have to tear up their road again and remove and replace the existing sewer in order to install a water line.
The Lake St. South homeowners are concerned over the impact on trees and the extra cost to replace the existing sewer. They also question whether water is needed," said Potter.
Alternative options for dealing with the situation of Lake St. South would be to put water above the existing sewer or beside the sewer. However, to place the line above the pipe would require significant insulation due to the shallow depth. To place the line beside the sewer is not a viable option due to minimum distance separation requirements. Another possible option suggested by residents would be to bring water over from another street, however according to Potter it would require multiple lines and property easements.
Wa t e r needs t o be installed. The problems which exist in the rest of Inverhuron exist here aswell. It may be in the end that we have a combination of solutions. Council should really take the time to take careful consideration about Lake St. South," he added.
A final decision will be made by council following staff's report, and will likely happen indecember.
Steering Committee Recommendations on Water and Sewer Project
That municipal water be extended to all
Residents of Inverhuron and that payment of capital
Charges associated with the project be mandatory, but
That connection to the waterline be optional.
That Council consider the fairness of the
Capital reserve contribution for Inverhuron residents,in
Light of other capital charges being borne by the
Community and the current state of the sewage capital
That the Municipality contribute a share of the capital charges for the Inverhuron Sewage and Water Project, above and beyond any contribution made toward Future development associated with Development charges.
That a grace period for connection to the
Sewage collection system_should be permitted for septic
Systems that are less than 10 years old (as of 2011) and that The maximum lifespan of the septic system, including the Grace period, not exceed 15 years from the date of installation.
That Servicing Alternative #3, the low pressureCollection system, be selected as the preferred sewage Servicing solution for Inverhuron
That prior to extending municipal water along Lake Street South, Council carefully consider the small Number of residents who actually want/need water, taking into consideration the environmental damage and extra Costs which would result from replacement of the existing Sewer in order to install the waterline.
Next Steps in the EA
1. Staff Recommendations to Council - December 7
2. Circulate Draft Report to Staff and Committee Members for Review - date to be determined
3. Publish Notice of Study Completion - date to be determined
4. Make Screening Report Available for Public Review - date to be determined
5. Address Comments/Questions from Public - date to be determined
6. Complete Detailed Engineering - Winter 2012
7. Tender Project for Construction_- Spring_2012
Inverhuron resident has questions for council on sewer line plan
Kincardine Council, I would like to table the following questions for your favour-able response/consideration regarding the existing sewer line on Lake St. south:
What is the current plan to service and repay the stranded water line debt of approximately $1.8 million dollars? will any of the capital contributions, reserve fund monies or operating assessments from this project be used to service or repay the debt?
Did you actually review the IDRA's member survey on the proposed sewer and water project and why do you think the special committee recommendations ran completely counter to the stated wishes of the ratepayers (not wanting town water)?
Would you personally spend $7,000-$10,000 of your own monies to switch from a perfectly good well water system to a town supply system based on one time spot testing? Would you then allow for another $500,000 to be spent on replacing a sewer line based on the same one time spot testing which basically confirmed the well water quality is generally good along the sewer line? is there a lack of rigour in really testing the water quality as only one time testing was undertaken which appears very thin data when making a $500,000 plus decision to rip up the existing sewer? Would this pass the smell test of what a rational person would do? Should we spend $500,000 to bring four cottages water (who want the option of town water) when three of the cottages are adjacent to spur lines?
Do you think this has been a fair and unbiased consultative with the ratepayers given the final recommendations run counter to the majority wishes of the ratepayers as expressed in the recent IDRA survey of its members which is in your possession?
What does the council plan to do about the ground/storm water problem given the design characteristics for the new Inverhuron system will allow for further development of the area and the SVCA has placed council on notice that flooding is an issue which will need to be addressed? Should we not plan for this now so we can measure twice, cut once?
If the sewer is replaced will the reserve funds ($150,000 to $225,000) associated with the legacy sewer line be return to the stakeholders so we will start level set with the balance of the ratepayers
Is B.M. Ross thinking outside the box and should the firm be directed to be more constructive and less dogmatic and should the five guiding principles be a road-map for finding practical solutions and not a straightjacket for wasteful spending and potential environmental degradation?
Did the engineers consult the local health unit's chief epidemiologist as she confirms she is not aware of any illness from Inverhuron caused by drinking water in her 10-year term or before and the water quality from the wells is generally good along our stretch as confi rmed by the engineer's heat map in the study?
Did the engineer's consult with the Ministry of Environment regarding its earlier confirmation that our stretch of road did not need municipal water once the sewer line was installed in 1992/1993 (this is in the council minutes of that year and I shared this with the council in august this year)?
Again we ask the question why would we spend $500,000 plus and risk the potential for enormous environment degradation to provide four cottages with municipal water, when three of which are adjacent to existing water spurs, when there is no overwhelming, or rigorous due diligence, or empirical evidence (local health unit), confirming the widespread quality of our water is unhealthy? The practical facts seem to stand?
What would a rational person do given this fact pattern?
Donald Stewart Inverhuron
Kincardine proceeds with mandatory connection for Inverhuron water and sewer project
By Liz Dadson
The Inverhuron water and sanitary sewer project is a go, and Kincardine council has given initial approval to mandatory hook-up for all residents in the affected area.
In committee of the whole Wednesday night (Dec. 7), chief building official Michele Barr presented the report, and engineers Kelly Vader and Bruce Potter of B.M. Ross and Associates, fielded questions about the Environmental Assessment process which included several meetings with a steering committee over the past two years.
The installation of water and sanitary sewers in Inverhuron is the best solution, they said, because it addresses the risks associated with geology in the area, requires little maintenance, services all lot sizes, and is consistent with existing infrastructure.
The $9.1-million project has received two-thirds funding from the federal and provincial governments.
Councillor Ron Coristine noted there has been a lot of concern from the people of Inverhuron, focussing on the need for sewers but not for water.
Vader said that due to the level of risk, based on the geology in Inverhuron, there is a need for water servicing. In fact, she said, the source water protection committee considers the aquifer in that area to be a high risk - it's one of the highest risk areas in the province.
"We know there is a large group that does not want water," she said. "There is more support for sewers, but there are a number of people who need the water too."
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie said 60 per cent of the residents supported sewers, and 20 per cent have municipal water already. Another 30 per cent want water services, but 48 per cent do not.
Vader pointed out that the steering committee made six recommendations to help mitigate some of the measures involved with this project.
The first was that the waterline be extended to all residents of Inverhuron and the capital charge be mandatory, but the connection be made optional.
Public works manager Jim O'Rourke said not only would the municipality lose revenue without mandatory connection, it does not address the root problem - the risk of contaminated water.
"I'm really stuck on this mandatory connection issue for water," argued councillor Randy Roppel.
"It should be a mandatory connection," said councillor Maureen Couture. "Council should do the right thing, here, not the most popular thing."
Council agreed. A connection bylaw will be prepared for council approval.
The second recommendation was for council to consider the fairness of a capital reserve contribution for water and sewer.
Staff endorsed including a capital and reserve contribution to the water and sewer project. The current fee is $1,700 capital and $75 reserve for sewage, and $300 reserve for water. Council agreed. This is included in the estimated $12,000 per connection for water and sewer services.
The third recommendation was that the municipality contribute a share of the capital charges for the project, above and beyond contribution made toward future development associated with development charges.
Barr said staff does not support any additional contribution by the municipality beyond future development. Council agreed, unanimously.
The fourth recommendation was that a grace period for connection to the sewer collection system be permitted for septic systems that are less than 10 years old, as of 2011.
Staff and council agreed with that one, but no grace period allowed beyond 15 years.
The fifth recommendation was that the servicing alternative be a low-pressure collection system with grinder pumps. The municipality has already agreed to assume ownership and maintenance of all grinder pumps. Council agreed.
And finally, the sixth recommendation was that council consider carefully the small number of residents who actually want or need water along Lake Street South, taking into consideration the environmental damage and extra costs to replace the existing sewer line in order to install a new waterline.
Couture said this was done in the former Town of Kincardine, along Goderich Street. Sewers were installed successfully with a minimum of disturbance.
Potter noted there is a minimum separation distance required between water and sewer lines, and the entire area along Lake Street South can't achieve that.
Barr said the engineers would be directed to pursue a design along Lake Street South that minimizes, as much as is reasonable, disruption to the vegetation and the existing sewer.
"We should do it without disturbing the existing sewer line," said Roppel.
"That's what would be most reasonable," said Couture.
Final council approval for the project and all the mitigating recommendations will come forward at the Dec. 14 council meeting.
Inverhuron residents to receive order to connect to water, sanitary sewer
By JENNIFER SCHLEICH
Connecting to municipal water and sanitary sewer will be mandatory for all Inverhuron residents, following a decision by Municipality of Kincardine council on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
Council chose to side with staff and move against the recommendation set by the Inverhuron Steering Committee, which had hoped to make it optional for residents to connect to municipal water.
"This is the preferred alternative to address the issue," said Kelly Vader of B.M. Ross. "Inverhuron is identified as one of the highest risk areas in the province for contamination. The concern is about E. coli contamination."
Bruce Potter, also of B.M. Ross, told council that generally speaking municipalities don't allow optional connection in these circumstances, however he understood the concerns of Inverhuron residents.
Councillor Ron Coristine also expressed concern, telling council the people have been consulted and the e-mails seem to indicate that many Inverhuron residents don't think they need municipal water.
"The underlying issue is that optional connection doesn't address why this area needs municipal water" said public works manager Jim O'Rourke.
Council agreed to move forward with the mandatory connections in order to best protect municipal residents.
"It should be mandatory. We should do the right thing here, not the most popular thing," said councillor Maureen Couture.
All residents, including those who currently have access to the Kincardine water pipeline but have not yet connected, will be included in the mandatory connection policy.
Council also officially agreed to include the capital and reserve charges in the cost of hookup. The capital and reserve portions will be $2,075 per household. Council agreed to fund the portion of the costs for future developments, with the understanding that future developments would reimburse the municipality through the Development Charges by-law.
Furthermore, council decided to approve a full low pressure sanitary sewer system with grinder pumps for Inverhuron, with the municipality assuming ownership and maintenance costs associated with said pumps.
The ongoing issues on Lake St. South weren't resolved during the meeting. Residents of the street have previously expressed their displeasure that the municipality will have to tear up the existing gravity sewer on Lake St. South in order to install water.
"If we can't maintain the required distance separation between the pipes we will have to put in a more expensive pipe," said Potter, who also had concerns about placing a water pipe too near the surface. "Insulating a water main where there are going to be low flows in the winter concerns me."
Council agreed to follow staff's recommendation, to direct the engineers to pursue a design on Lake St. South, which will minimize the disruption of the existing sewer and the street's vegetation.
The matter is to be considered during the Dec. 14 council meeting for formal approval.
Article from Bill Stewart
New Municipal Mayor and Council
Folks Interested in voting with the ratepayers wishes, not against them!
RE: Inverhuron water project - Lake Street South
Requirements: two ears to listen.
Inverhuron water project sees legal woes
By Sarah Boychuk Kincardine News
The Municipality of Kincardine resolved to take a step back in installing a new water and sanitary sewage system in Inverhuron.
The decision was made at the June 13 planning and corporate services meeting, following claims by Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) and Inverhuron Watershed Concerned Citizens they weren't sufficiently consulted during the process.
The municipality had issued a Notice of Study Completion on January 25, 2012. Following a meeting with the municipality, the Ministry of the Environment recommended the notice be withdrawn to allow opportunities for further consultation with both parties.
Though Mayor Larry Kraemer told councillors during the meeting the municipality is no obligated to consult with the groups, he still expressed hesitation in continuing with the project until a legal safe hold had been made.
"There's no doubt the crown has a duty to consult," said Kraemer. "There's no requirement for the municipality to consult. My thoughts are the council should have the right to seek advice on this."
Building and planning manager Michele Barr said SON had yet to file a report to respond to the municipality's notice of completion of the study, as doing so would require additional funding from the municipality.
Councillor Ron Coristine was uncomfortable with the suggestion the municipality would have to provide more money to SON before the project could contine.
"I can't support signing this agreement with SON," he said. "They're asking for $70,000 for a report. What are we getting for $70,000?"
Kraemer believed it was necessary for the municipality to consider legal input before agreeing to SON's request.
"Why don't we go with option three, nix the rest of the report, and seek legal consultation?" he suggested. The option Kraemer was referring to stated that council not withdraw the Notice of Study Completion at this time.
Kraemer's proposal was ultimately carried.
KINCARDINE TURNS DOWN COSTLY AGREEMENT WITH ABORIGINAL GROUP OVER INVERHURON PROJECT
By Barb McKay
The Kincardine Independent
Municipality to obtain legal advice before moving ahead
Kincardine council is not impressed with an agreement drawn up by the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) requiring the municipality to front the costs to peer review documents from the environmental assessment for the Inverhuron sewer and water project.
The agreement was produced following a 30-day review period of the Class EA documents for the project to extend water and sanitary sewer services to the community of Inverhuron. After the municipality issued a notice of study completion in January, representatives from SON indicated that there was a lack of consultation with the Aboriginal community.
In May, municipal staff and representatives from engineering firm BM Ross, as well as attorney George Magwood, held a conference call with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment to discuss the request for a peer review. According to Kincardine building and planning manager Michele Barr, the Ministry recommended that the municipality withdraw its notice of study completion to continue consultation with SON.
The agreement from SON lists a number of requirements, including study review in the areas of engineering, hydrogeology, natural heritage, archeology and aquatic ecology. The agreement also covers costs such as legal, administration expenses for SON and a five per cent contingency fund. In all, the municipality would be expected to pay $66,690. Barr said staff has contacted the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) about possible funding, but has yet to receive a response.
"I have real issues with this agreement and how the price was arrived at," said councillor Ron Coristine, during last Wednesday's council meeting. He questioned the need for a contingency fund and inquired if the municipality could get a better price for the review.
Barr said SON is looking to use its own consultants. She said SON has been given all the documentation from the environmental assessment to review, but hasn't started the review because they require funding to do it.
"If they've been given all the paperwork that's consultation in my view," said mayor Larry Kraemer. "But we can still end up in front of the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board)."
He said the province hasn't clearly defined what consultation requirements are.
"I don't think they know," he said.
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie voiced concern that the municipality could see similar demands in the future if it signed the agreement.
"I'm afraid it's setting a precedent," she said.
"We are required to consult, but we are not required to accommodate," said Kraemer. "This whole thing, we should get advice before we go anywhere near it. It's a loaded gun."
The municipality received a second request from the Inverhuron Watershed Concerned Citizens group, which has concerns about ground water and storm drainage. Council agreed to withdraw the notice of study completion to address drainage questions. However, council decided against signing the SON agreement and plans to obtain legal advice before proceeding.