Tag Archives: snow fluent system

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.
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OCIF4 GRANT WILL BE LAUNCHED THIS SPRING – ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY FOR AN OCIF GRANT TO FUND THE NEW WASTE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM

Last Friday, CAO Snider, Treasurer Koiner and I had a teleconference with a staff member from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), to discuss the short comings of our OCIF3 application.  It was during this discussion, that we learned that the launch for the next round of grants – OCIF4 – will be before the end of spring 2017.  This is significant as previous OCIF launches have been in the fall.  One of the conditions of the OCIF grant programme is that eligible expenses date back to the day of the launch.  What does this mean for Westport?  If we are successful getting OCIF4, all eligible expenses after the launch date (June 21) will the covered.

Accordingly, the work schedule has been adjusted by one month, so that work begins mid-June rather than mid-May.  We are, once again,  applying to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change for approval to spray irrigate in order to avoid hauling.

The advocacy with the government, on behalf of the Village, continues.  I have a meeting with Minister Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure in Toronto on Thursday and continue to be in contact with the Premier’s office, pushing for a meeting with her.

Thank you to everyone who sent letters and emails to members of the Ontario government.  I can assure you that they have not fallen on deaf ears.

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,

 

Minister Duguid says he has “no pot of money” for Westport

Thank you to everyone who wrote to the Minister.  He and his staff discussed the Westport e-mails and letters – so your work was not in vain.
The meeting with Minister Duguid did not result in a commitment for any money as he said “there is no pot of money”.  This week the Premier announced that in 2017/18, the amount of money for infrastructure would be doubled and that there is another intake for OCIF funding in April – but again, this is for 2017.
The Minister  is aware that we will be using our existing OCIF grant money to cover the costs of hauling this year – an amount that could easily be $500,000.  He sympathized.
Minister Duguid and his staff encouraged us to be “shovel ready” for the Federal grants, which should be announced in April.  According to our schedule of events  including the tendering process, we should be.  The Minister did share with us that  the province doesn’t know what the scope of those grants will be.
The final discussion with them was my request to keep whatever is remaining from our 2015/16 OCIF grant beyond December 2016 and use it in 2017 with that year’s grant.  Normally , this is not approved by government – but as the Minister said, due to our “unique” situation, he and his staff will see what they can do.
The Minister was a real gentleman – and although we did not make any headway in $$$ – I felt that he listened to our situation.
I am still waiting to confirm dates/times for meetings with the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and with the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
Thank you everyone for your support and comments.  We are not finished in our quest by a long shot!

Lake 88.1: “In Focus” with Bob Perreault

Lake-88-FMI joined Bob Perreault on Lake 88.1’s In Focus to discuss the 2 million dollar grant Westport received for the snowfluent system, how we are prepared to move waste if needed, and what work is happening now at Town Hall for the spring.

“It sounds to me like for the first time in a little bit, the people of Westport get to look forward during the spring instead of just constantly checking over their shoulder.” — Bob Perreault

Thanks for listening if you caught the interview live! Otherwise, LISTEN HERE for the full 14 minute interview.

Thanks to Lake 88.1, especially Bob and his In Focus team.