Council approves Briars communities connection to municipal
Posted July 6,
New Tecumseth council has agreed to provide Green Briar and Briar Hill
with a connection to the municipal water supply up to a maximum of 228
cubic meters per day, at the current residential rate charged users in
Alliston, Beeton and Tottenham.
The entire matter has been dealt with by councillors in camera, and its
terms released only as part of the minutes, whose actions were ratified
in a special meeting that followed the June 25th in camera session.
According to the minutes, the agreement provides a minimum daily
allocation of 50 cubic meters per day, up to the maximum of 228 cubic
"And further that the settlement payments and costs shall be calculated
on 50 m3 /day for a specified period of time plus, a contribution to
legal costs; And further that the as built documents and manuals shall
be delivered by the Servicing Organizations to the Town by the end of
September 2018; And further that the letters of credit be updated."
In December 2017, Town solicitor Jay Feehely told council, "While it
is clear these were fundamental obligations under the 2000 Agreement
(to provide water), there may be an issue as to whether or not either
or both of these obligations continue to survive, either in whole or in
part. The issues are significant. Had the developer made the required
payments to the end of 2017, it is my understanding that the obligation
would have been in the order of $1,288,000. However, there is no
evidence that the Municipality either requested payment or took any
steps of enforcement. The Agreements do not provide any guidance in
terms of what happens if there is default by either or both parties."
The condominium boards in the Briars communities hired Tony Fleming C.S.
Certified Specialist in Municipal Law (Local Government/Land Use
Planning & Development)
Partner Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP, to represent
Mr. Fleming confirmed this week his firm is retained, but had not yet
"received any information from the municipality and as such I do not
have instructions from my clients."
The condo boards are opposed to being charged for any portion of the
new connections. The Briars are serviced by private water and
wastewater systems, whose rates are incorporated into the condo fees.
In his submission to the Town last December Mr. Fleming said, "Our
advice to our clients is to vigorously contest any attempt to impose
such a charge. The provisions of the 2000 Communal Servicing
Responsibility Agreement also impose no obligation on the Town to
provide the municipal connection and supply that BHRSO is currently
requesting. In the absence of a positive contractual obligation, and in
the face of the fact that there is no authority to unilaterally alter
the private servicing system, we urge the Town to refuse to connect in
order to avoid costly litigation."
Mr. Fleming suggested in his review the Town and the developer
nullified the agreement because neither side implemented its terms, and
any connection would require consent of the condo corportations.
"We again emphasize that there are no issues with the supply of water
to Briar Hill under the current private communal servicing system,"
concluded Mr. Fleming. "There is therefore no need for the connection
to the municipal supply that has been proposed by BHRSO and the
Developer, and it is a proposal that the residents of Briar Hill
neither want nor require. We urge the Developer and BHRSO to withdraw
their proposal for a municipal connection, and the Town to deny any and
all requests for such."
Council has kept the matter in camera because Mr. Feehely has suggested
the potential for litigation.
Ward 4 councillor Fran Sainsbury, and Ward 5 councillor Peter Anderson,
have declared conflicts of interest on the matter as they both reside
in the Briars.
On Monday night, councillors are expected to approve planning
amendments that permit Cable Bridge (Biffis) to build 20 additional
homes in Briar Hill on land formerly part of the Ridge golf course.