Minutes of a Special Meeting held in the Council Chambers, 937907 Marsh Bay Road, Coleman Township, on Monday, February 11, 2008 at 6:00 p.m.
There were present:
Township of Coleman Mayor: C. Belanger
Councillor: R. Beeson
Clerk-Treasurer: C. Bigelow
Ministry of Natural Resources: Dave Payne
Ontario Power Generation: Ed Dobrowolski
Marsh Bay Conservation Association: Jim O’Brien
Temiskaming Speaker: Diane Johnston
The purpose of the meeting was to meet with representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ontario Power Generation in order to discuss the Hound Chute Dam Project.
Mr. Payne opened the meeting and advised the Hound Chute Dam project is moving forward and will accomplish all that everyone hoped would happen. The contracts have been put in place and the plans are on the go. Mr. Payne then turned the meeting over to Mr. Crozzoli.
Mr. Crozzoli advised that all involved with this project have the same objective and he hopes that, through this process, a solution will be reached that will work. The project was initiated in May 2005 and now the bids have been put out and received. There are still come contractual issues to finalize. This is a two year construction phase and the first part is the Obermeyer Weir. Easements issues have to be addressed. Peter Kiewit & Sons from Kansas who are in partnership with Alary from Timmins have been awarded the contract
Mr. Lim then took over the meeting. Mr. Lim looks after real estate dealings for Ontario Power Generation. Ontario Power Generation does not have the rights they need at the present time. In July 2006, OPG started the program to acquire easement rights from land owners on the Montreal River. Appraisals and searches have been completed and now they hope to meet with the landowners. Once easements have been signed, surveys and consents will be required prior to registering the parcels. Appraisals were done in 2007, therefore recalculation to reflect current values will be required and should be completed this month. Wells and structures have to be considered. Mr. Lim expects the easement agreements to be ready to go on March 17, 2008. Phase 2 will be ready by March 31st, 2008. Once easements are signed, OPG will proceed with Planning Act Consents- a process which is expected to take up to three months. Once the consents are registered, payment will follow.
Mr. Durepos then advised properties are rated in four categories depending on erosion. Agreements have to be reached if erosion is to be mitigated – stop/protect existing erosion. Erosion mitigation must be done in a group. Packages will include erosion condition providing the Ministry of Natural Resources and Department of Fisheries and Ocean have provided required permits. The first step is the easements which are expected to begin on March 17th to April 17, 2008 and the second step, agreement packages are expected to begin on March 31st, 2008 to May 31st, 2008.
Mr. O’Brien advised members of the Marsh Bay Conservation Association had met on February 7th, 2008 to review the easements and package provided by Ms Munro Leeson. Landowners’ biggest concern was that easements be held in escrow until the weir is completed. He emphasized that all members are in favour of the project and do not want to delay the project.
Mr. Dobrowolski advised his understanding was that the easements would be held in escrow until the project received approval and a major announcement is expected in a short while – 2 or 3 weeks. Mr. O’Brien’s proposal was that the escrow would be released when the weir is operational.
A discussion was held regarding this difference of opinion. The question was, “could easements be held in escrow until the weir is operational?” It was expected that escrow might delay the process for a very short time provided all lawyers work on these promptly – Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Cleroux will advised the lawyers to work on these as soon as they receive them. Mr. Lim will check with OPG’s legal department and prepare the wording for the escrow which will then be forwarded to the lawyers for their approval. The agreement at this meeting was that the signed easements will be held in escrow until the Obermeyer Weir is “in service”.
A discussion was held regarding the operation of the weir while the plant is being built. Mr. Dobrowolski advised the operation of the weir will be in the hands of the contractor and will probably be run in the auto mode.
While these easements and escrow documents are being prepared, the agreements for the wells, erosion and building will be prepared and should be ready to present to affected landowners by March 31st, 2008.
Mr. Payne advised that the Ministry of Natural Resources will give permits providing Ontario Power Generation has made a reasonable effort to obtain easements.
The Water Management Plan will reflect OPG’s commitment to operational levels once the redevelopment is completed.
Legal Fees – Ontario Power Generation will make provide up to $3,000.00 per parcel from the time the easements are presented for legal advice on the agreements and easements.
A request for a newsletter or communique to keep residents informed was made. Mr. Dobrowolski agreed that this would be provided.
Mr. Dobrowolski requested a letter of support for the process and time line from Council, the Marsh Bay Conservation Association and the Ministry of Natural Resources.
Mr. O’Brien stated he appreciates the flexibility of Ontario Power Generation and the Ministry of Natural Resources through this process and reiterated the fact that Coleman Residents are very much in favour of the Hound Chute Project and want it to proceed as soon as possible.
Motion 08-02-04 MOVED BY Lois Perry and SECONDED BY Ron Beeson:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT By-Law No. 08-05 being a by-law to authorize the submission of an application to the Ontario Infrastructure Project Corporation be read a first and second time.
Motion 08-02-05 MOVED BY Ron Beeson and SECONDED BY Pat Tresidder:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT By-Law No. 08-05 be read a third and final time and be passed and enacted. Carried.
Motion 08-02-06 MOVED BY Ron Beeson and SECONDED BY Pat Tresidder:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT this meeting do now adjourn. Carried.