New Tecumseth, Collingwood pipeline activity moves in camera
Posted April 12,
New Tecumseth councillors met in camera Monday night for a "Collingwood
to Alliston pipeline and supply of water update."
It justified the closed door meeting because it's in "regard to the
security of the property of the
municipality or Local Board as authorized per the Municipal Act,
Section 239 (2) (a) and litigation or potential litigation, including
matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or
Local Board as authorized per the Municipal Act, Section 239 (2) (e)."
Moments before the in camera portion, council voted 8-2 in a recorded
vote to obligate the Town into joining pending discussions between
Simcoe County, its lower tier municipalities (Essa and Bradford West
Gwillimbury are opposed) and the provincial facilitator re future
options for water and wastewater service delivery at a regional, upper
Voting in favour were Mayor Rick Milne, Deputy Mayor Jamie Smith, Ward
councillors Marc Biss, Michael Beattie, Paul Whiteside, Fran Sainsbury,
Donna Jebb, and Shira Harrison McIntyre. Opposed, were Richard Norcross
and Chris Ross.
That same evening, Collingwood council met in camera for an update on
that Town's negotiations with EPCOR, which in addition to its interest
in purchasing Collingwood's remaining shares of its hydro corporation,
has offered to manage "the system and financing any water and waste
water infrastructure renewal that may be required."
"Under the EPCOR proposal Collingwood Council would continue to set
water and waste water rates and establish system performance measures
including water and customer service quality," according to a press
release announcing the negotiations last January.
Edmonton based EPCOR was also one of two for profit private operators
bidding for a 25 year contract with Adjala Tosorontio to finance,
build, and operate a new sewage treatment plant in Everett. Township
council killed the RFP because of cost escalations throughout the
New Tecumseth enters the picture because of the 53 km pipeline
connection between Collingwood and Alliston, and a deal for water
supply that dates back to 1999. The two communities were in the midst
of renogitating a long term arrangement, including terms for New
Tecumseth to contribute a percentage for building a new, larger
capacity water treatment plant. In fact, a 12-point "principles
to a new agreement" was reached last summer that recognizes "the
current agreements and financial arrangements with respect to the
supply of water by Collingwood to New Tecumseth are not sustainable in
the long term," and entrenches "this will be a permanent water supply
for New Tecumseth."
At the same time, New Tecumseth has initiated the process to connect
Tottenham to the pipeline from Beeton to replace its groundwater supply.
Last November, New Tecumseth agreed to pay Collingwood $473,570 of the
cost to replace a single train of membranes at the Raymond A. Barker
Water Filtration Plant. The upgrade was to provide New Tecumseth an
additional 500 cm/day as a short term supply boosting the supply to
10,000 cm/d. Collingwood is supposed to supply New Tecumseth with
13,000 m3/day with planned increases to 23,500 m3/day maximum day
demand by 2030.
But because the water issue between the two municipalities has moved in
camera, and predates the start of negotiations between EPCOR and
Collingwood, it's not clear what the immediate impact is for New