Confusion about financing the rehabilitation of the waste water treatment plant…

At the May 5 Westport Council mtg, the different grant options available from both the federal and provincial governments to finance the infrastructure work at the waste water treatment plant were discussed.  The consultants expect that an additional $2M will be necessary to finish the work in 2017.  Three different grant options were discussed by Council.  The successful applicants for the government(s)’s grants will receive either 50% (federal green infrastructure grant) , 66% (federal/provincial small communities fund grant – the availability of this grant is now in question) or 90% (provincial – ontario community infrastructure grant).  The timing of when these grants will be available is not known, but on May 5 we had reason to believe that the small communities fund was imminent.  Council needed to make a strategic decision on which grant to apply for – as a successful application on one makes the same applicant ineligible for another infrastructure grant.

To give Councillors some perspective on what the impact would be of each grant, the tax roll was used.  Calculations were provided on $2M (no grant), $1M (50% grant), $330K (66% grant), $200K (90% grant) loans over 25 years.  A motion was passed on grant applications.

The confusion has come about as a result of using the tax roll instead of the water and wastewater ratepayer list.  For this confusion, I apologize.

I want to be clear that no decision has been made nor has the discussion occurred at Council on whether the portion not covered by government grant would be added to the tax roll or water and waste water bills.  At some point, Council will have the debate and make a decision.  On May 5, the decision was limited to which grant applications to apply for.

Your input is important.  Please contact a councillor of your choice or myself at 273-9195 to share your concerns.