Council discusses 2019 water and wastewater budget deficit

Attendees at the April 11 Water & Wastewater budget discussions learned that the Township has brought a legal claim to recover the cost of repairs to the wastewater plant. The discussion arose after Acting Treasurer Amanda Hudder revealed details of the Wastewater budget deficit which amounts to $33,000. Litigation costs are contributing to this. She said,

The costs are unknown. It could go in our favour which would still result in some expenditures; it could go not in our favour which would result in higher expenditures.

CAO Sue Klatt told The Current that the claim is for compensation following cracks appearing in the wastewater tank shortly after construction in 2009. The claim is against the Township’s contractor AECOM which provided engineering services to the Township, Geo-Logic which provided engineering soil analysis services to AECOM, and OCWA which provided project management services during construction, as well as another firm Sulpher who actually built the tank.

In recommending an increase in the Water & Wastewater rates for 2019, staff told Council that there had been no increase to the rates for several years even though costs had increased during that time. They said a more realistic rate increase to balance the budget could involve a jump of 6 or 7 percent. Both staff and members of Council agreed that such a substantial increase would present potential hardship to users of the system. To make it easier for householders to plan ahead, Council decided to aim for more modest increases in the region of 2 to 3 percent per year over the next few years. Water rates for 2019 were set at $4.59 per cuM (up from $4.50) and the wastewater rate at $4.82 (previously $4.63) per cuM.

Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) staff Scott Stewart and Ashley Pilgrim attended the meeting as a delegation to present the Township of Madawaska Valley with a 25 Years’ Service Recognition award in appreciation of its longstanding partnership with OCWA. Shown above: Ernie Peplinski, Mark Willmer, Scott Stewart, Ashley Pilgrim, Mayor Kim Love (holding plaque), David Shulist, Carl Bromwich.

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