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Water connection to Briars communities off the table for now

Posted March 6, 2018

New Tecumseth councillors committed last night to include the Briar Hill and Green Briar Residential Servicing Organizations (RSO) request for urban water connection from the municipal supply to be incorporated into the next water master plan update.

The move represents a step back from last fall's RSO request for "permission to immediately hook-up to the existing 'T' connection installed in the water main on the 14th Line adjacent to Briar Hill; The Green Briar RSO is requesting hook-up to the existing 'T' connection in the water main on the 10th Side Road adjacent Green Briar for the purpose of emergency water supply if and when needed."

It's a proposition opposed by residents of the private condominium communities, whose condo boards hired a lawyer who cautioned "the municipality against taking any action in advance of allowing our clients to exercise their legal rights to participate fully in the process. To do otherwise would in our opinion be a breach of our clients' rights to procedural fairness and natural justice."

In an update to council last night, the RSO's intent remains "to ensure the long-term water supply of the private condominium community by investigating all possible sources of water including the Town's supply if available and economically viable."

"The intent of including the RSO in the next and future updates of the WMP is not to obligate either the RSO or the Town to take any action, instead to understand what is involved in getting additional capacity, distribution, and the costs associated with doing so," according to the report. "The scope of the WMP update would be to provide water to the RSO at a demarcation point such as a reservoir, and the RSO would maintain its responsibilities to supply and distribute water to the private community. The Town would study how the municipal supply and distribution system would need to the expanded and the associated costs to provide this new service."

New Tecumseth's current water master plan was approved in 2016, and includes as its top priority, the pipeline extension to Tottenham. That process is currently bogged down at the Ministry of Environment level because of a request for an Environmental Assessment bump-up request. Director of Engineering Rick Vatri said last night that after several months of inaction, the Ministry is actively working through the file and expects a decision soon.

The 2016 WMP "was developed with the assumption that the current water supply to the (RSO) developments will  remain and therefore provisions have not been made to connect the private development to the Alliston system at this time. Should the Town wish to supply the developments from the Town water system in the future, the Master Plan will need to be updated to determine the source of the additional supply and conveyance system, and responsibility for associated costs."

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri