The request for connection to the municipal water supply for Green
Briar and Briar Hill has moved in camera with the potential for
litigation on the table.
The parties involved are: the Town, represented by Jay Feehely; the
Briar Hill and Green Briar Residential Servicing Organizations (RSO)
making the request represented by Paul Grespan; and the condominium
boards represented by Tony Fleming.
Mr. Fleming, in a November 14 letter to the Town, said his clients"will
be significantly and directly
impacted by any decision of the municipality related to the request to
be connected to municipal water, .... and caution 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."
Contacted this morning for an update, Mr Fleming said "It would not be
appropriate at this time for me to comment to the press."
Mr. Grespan said the
Briar Hill RSO is requesting a water supply of 228 cubic metres of
water per day,as well, 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'
in the water main on the 10th Side Road adjacent Green Briar for the
purpose of emergency
water supply if and when needed; and The Town consider in its next
update to the Master Water Plan the:
supply by the Town to BRSO and GRSO of their water requirements over
the agreed amount provided and within the planning horizon year of
2031); and, estimated cost of the requested supply.
Mr. Feehely's review of
a 2000 agreement between the Town and Cable Bridge Enterprises and its
Briar Hill development process, noted, "While it is clear these
were fundamental obligations under the 2000 Agreement, 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."
As to the Town's ability to buffer the residents of Green Briar and
Briar Hill from the financial impact of the municipal hook-up, Mr.
Feehely notes, "There is no contractual right or ability for the
Municipality to impose a restriction on the developer or Servicing
Company from passing on its costs to the ratepayers. The fundamental
obligation for the Municipality is to supply water and charge an
appropriate rate. Once the water crosses onto the private lands and
into the private servicing system, the cost is subject to the internal
arrangements of the private system."
Ward 4 councillor Fran Sainsbury, and new Ward 5 councillor Peter
Anderson have both declared a conflict of interest on the matter
because they live in Green Briar/Briar Hill.
Last Monday night, councillors emerged from in camera and passed the following
And further that the confidential direction to staff and the Town's
Solicitor be recommended to Council for adoption with regard to:
The approach on the collection of arrears for water under
Section 4 (b) of the 2000 Responsibility Agreement;
The approach for the recuperation of the Town's costs
associated with the current request of the RSO;
Inclusion of the RSO request for water in future reports
and agreements and the associated future cost recovery; and
Enforcement of various issues associated with the current
And further that a report be provided to a Committee of the Whole
Meeting prior to the end of February 2018.
Despite the pending legal issues on this matter, the Biffis family's annual Christmas
party this Friday night is expected to include some members of council in
attendance led by mayor Rick Milne who confirmed to Free Press
Online his plan to attend. Ward 3 councillor Paul Whiteside, Ward 4
councillor Fran Sainsbury, and Ward 7 councillor Shira Harrison
McIntyre told Free Press Online they were not attending. UPDATED Dec. 6, 2017: Ward 8 councillor Chris Ross has confirmed he will be attending. At this post,
no other member of council replied as to their plans to attend.