Tag Archives: environment

Update on meeting with Minister Chiarelli – April 13, 2017

First, thank you to everyone who sent emails or left phone messages of encouragement for our meeting with the Minister.  They were appreciated.
Mr Paul Snider, CAO and I met with Robert Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure for 45 minutes yesterday afternoon at Queen’s Park.  Mr Steve Clarke, our MPP, joined us as well as senior staff from the Minister’s office and one from Minister Leal’s (OMAFRA) office.
The meeting with Minister Chiarelli was very positive.  He was well briefed and his own memory went back to the time when Snowfluent was installed.  He even recalled the design engineer’s name.  He listened and quickly discerned the significance of our situation with regard to the criticality of the project and the impact funding it without provincial government help will have on our Village.
The Minister has made the commitment to find a solution “sooner than later”.  We left the meeting feeling that progress had been made and are moderately optimistic.  Paul and the Minister’s staff will be communicating further over the next few weeks.
We also had the opportunity to encourage the OMAFRA staff to fulfill its commitment to a spring launch date of OCIF4.
We owe our gratitude to MPP Steve Clarke, who continued to work on our behalf with the Ministers, and was the key to arranging this meeting.  Thank you, Steve.

Update on water pipe leak

Good Morning.  Just spoke to the crew and they located the leak over night.  They should be doing the repair in the next hour or so.  When the pipe broke on Concession St a couple of months ago, our Engineer bought extra couplings and pipe, which are here in the Village.  As long as there are no unexpected complications, the repair should be made soon.

Should anyone with water feel like taking a pot of hot coffee to the crew, they worked through the night.  Here on Rideau, we are without water.

Thank you for your patience everyone.

 

Disappointing News – Westport’s request for waste water replacement grant turned down.

To say that this decision is unfortunate, is an understatement.  Staff are following up with the contact person mentioned in the letter below for the reasons why our application was not supported by the Ontario Liberal government.

CAO Paul Snider is contacting the offices of Minister J Leal and Minister B Mauro, the two Ministries involved in the decision making, and is requesting meetings between Mayor Jones and the Ministers.

Yes, this is a set back, however we will continue to work to resolve the challenges of our current waste water treatment system and together we will come through 2017 with a dependable solution.

I thought it would be interesting to everyone to read the letter, so please see it below.

If you have any questions, pls call the councillor of your choice or me – 9195OCIF AC3-3088 Ltr.pdf

Court Case Against Village Concluded today in Brockville Court

In 2015, the Village and Clerk were each charged in 2015 with 2 counts in relation to the operation of the waste water treatment plant in the winter season of 2013/2014.  Today, the Village pled guilty to one charge, failing to properly operate and maintain the sewage treatment plant.  All other charges against the Village and Clerk were withdrawn.

Condition 6.1 of the ECA (certificate that authorizes use of waste water treatment plant) requires the Village to ensure that the sewage treatment plant and related equipment is properly operated and maintained, which is defined to include effective performance, adequate operator staffing and training.

Part of the evidence, agreed to by both the Crown Prosecutor and Village,  read at court was, “The Village did not produce enough snowfluent in the 2013/14 season, demonstrating a lack of effective performance of the system.  After the former operator was terminated, the Town hired another operator in early 2014. No back up operator was hired.  The new operator had a pre-planned vacation prior to being hired and was therefore not available for two weeks in February, prime snowfluent generation season, and as a result, no snowfluent was produced during that period.”

Mayor and Council felt that it was in the best interest of the Village to accept the option to plead to this one charge and turn the page on that part of our history.  The fine is $10,000 and the Village has 12 months to pay.  The fine would have been substantially more if the Prosecutor hadn’t taken into consideration that the Village is replacing the aging system in 2017.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Councillor of your choice or me at 613-273-9195.

Grant Application to Ontario government for waste water treatment plant due Oct 21

The Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF3) grants are due Friday, October 21.  The Village is requesting the maximum amount of $2 million – of which 90% will be grant.  I believe that our application is very strong.  We are adding an updated Asset Management Plan, which has become a significant component to these applications over the past 12 months.

I have been asked several times over the past few months what you, the residents and business owners, can do to help support our application.  At a recent Committee of the Whole meeting, I agreed with the request to provide a sample outline of a letter to the Minister of Infrastructure that could be included in our submission.

If you wish to send correspondence or speak directly to Minister Chiarelli, here is his email and toll free telephone number.

bob.chiarelli@ontario.ca                 Toll-free: 1-800-268-7095

For anyone who wants to have a letter included in our submission, you can drop it off at Town Hall or send directly to nbressee@villageofwestport.ca.  Below is a suggestion only.

The Honourable Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure

900 Bay Street, 5th Floor, Mowat Block

Toronto, Ontario, M7A 2E1

Dear Minister Chiarelli

I am a resident or business owner  (check one) in the Village of Westport.  Our municipal waste water treatment plant has been the subject of a Class C – Municipal Environmental Assessment, received support from the MOECC to proceed with the approved alternate solution and recently was given approval by Municipal Council after reaching the 70% completion stage of the detailed design.

The existing system is called Snowfluent, which treats effluent by turning it into snow.  Well, that is how it is supposed to work.  For a variety of reasons, it has not worked very well for the past several years.  Since 2014, the village has found it necessary to haul effluent to another treatment facility – approximately $800,000 worth of haulage – instead of dumping the waste into Upper Rideau Lake.

We are a small community of under 700 full time residents and need your help for the proposed rehabilitation of the waste water treatment plant, which will remove the public safety concerns and the moratorium on new builds and allow my village to grow.

Please support our OCIF3 application.  Our community is depending on you.

Yours truly,