Minutes of a Special Meeting held in the Council Chambers, 937907 Marsh Bay Road, Coleman Township, on Wednesday, June 29th, 2011 at 5:30 p.m.
There were present:
Township of Coleman Mayor: D. Cleroux
Councillor: S. Cote C. Marcella
L. Perry P. Tresidder
Clerk-Treasurer: C. Bigelow
Present: Bud Berry, Sue & George Culhane, Sandra and Ellis Cowell, Dennis & Kathy Hakola, Scott Dufresne, Kent & Georgette Saxton, Ron Beeson, Al Marcella, Joyce Nadeau, Harold & Edith Alberta, Doug McLeod, Jeff Reed, Gary Bigelow, Jim Patrick, Mel & Linda Cook, Harold B. McLeod, Dale Woods, Ronald Mitchell, Del Cole, Lonnie Bumstead, Sylvia Siemens, Ghislain Cadieux and Norman Cadieux.
Mayor Cleroux called the meeting to order.
Petitions and Delegations
1. Carolyn Chevrier – Coleman Water Distribution System.
Councillor Pat Tresidder declared a conflict of interest with matters dealing with the Coleman Water Distribution System.
1. Mayor Cleroux advised there is an issue with swimming lessons transportation by the Town of Cobalt – Mayor Cleroux will discuss this matter with Mayor Sartorreto.
2. Councillor Perry advised she has received complaints from people who rent cabins at Bass Lake Park with respect to the availability of water. Mr. Saxton advised water is not provided directly to the cabins but there are a number taps at different locations where they can get water. Ms. Sherry Ilersich, Ministry of the Environment advised that the Ministry is not responsible for this water supply but that the municipality must deal with the Timiskaming Health Unit. Ms. Oleksandra Volynets, Public Health Inspector, Timiskaming Health Unit, visits and supervises the sites on a regular basis. Mayor Cleroux will instruct Mr. Dufresne, Works Foreman, to turn on the water to these taps prior to the long weekend.
Mrs. Carolyn Chevrier was in attendance to advised that she has requested a full municipal review of the Coleman Water Distribution System project from a lot of people – from the time of the application.
Coleman Water Distribution System
Councillor Cathy Marcella read the following statement:
“I would like to take this time to provide my most recent findings with respect to the water portfolio.
The key objective of this project is twofold: 1) to consistently deliver clean safe affordable water to residents in Coleman Township and 2) to replace the aging and potentially hazardous water lines that are currently delivering water to homes in the community. To ensure the financial success of this project, it is imperative to find ways to finance the infrastructure without increasing the burden to our taxpayers. That being said, both proposals that are on the table provide a means to financially manage the Water Project and provide the municipality the flexibility to not only manage our debt, but minimize the burdens of costs to individual tax payers. This is the responsible thing to do.
It is our duty, as representatives of the residents of Coleman Township, to consider the future of the community, the development of a successful municipality and the health and safety of our environment and residents by making these tough choices. The question is: what is fair and reasonable?
As promised to the tax payers of the municipality, we have exercised our due diligence and have met with various experts within the field; including legal counsel and municipal advisors. All parties concerned have indicated that both proposals are a local municipal matter and consequently, it is a decision for which the municipality’s council is responsible. In addition, the Building Canada Fund advised us that the plan for cost recovery is up to the municipality.
Contrary to the information that has been distributed in the community, we have not breached any government agreements or laws of any kind. Not only has Council consulted with all interested government parties, we have also undertaken extensive research on the issues of municipal water distribution systems in municipalities similar to our own with a municipal water supply and private wells. We consulted with many other municipalities in an attempt to be fair and reasonable to all of our taxpayers.
We have listened and discussed with many of you in the community on the issues relating to both sides.
Having said this, every expert in the field, including legal counsel and the municipal advisors has clearly identified that fairness and reasonableness should be exercised. The cost structure should not unduly benefit (or cost) one tax payer class over another. Furthermore, it was recommended that all users contribute to the cost proportionally. This type of financial organization is in line with trends set by successful municipalities in terms of pricing, cost recovery and organizational structure.
Furthermore, over the course of the groundwork for this project, it has become quite evident that Coleman’s past water rates did not reflect the true cost of clean, safe and affordable water for the residents and this is the fundamental flaw related t this issue.
In future, it is imperative to adopt a water rate structure that will facilitate 2 keys to financial stability and success: 1) the recovery of the entire costs of day to day business operations and 2) the establishment of a new contributions account for the reserve fund which will address any future costs for unusual and/or capital expenses to ensure sustainability for generations to come.
In regards to the water project, there has been a passionate debate and it is evident that all council members have a keen interest in doing what is right for all the members of our community. While debate and discussion should be promoted, it is my hope that in the future, these discussions can be conducted in a kinder and more compassionate manner that focuses on the issues at hand and not degrading or offending one another.
In conclusion, based on research, expert consultations, and in the interest of fairness and reasonableness, I wish to put forward a motion to rescind the previous motion to adopt:
Proposal # 1: 49 Water Users will pay the infrastructure costs from Point of Demarcation into private property. Water user – Debt charge Proposal # 1
Per Month $16.29
Per Year (10 Years) $195.43
1-Time charge $1,571.43
To better serve the members of the Coleman community, I would also like to put forward a motion to adopt:
Proposal # 2: 49 Water Users will pay for 85% of the total infrastructure costs based on estimated usage. Water User – Debt Charge Proposal # 2
Per Month $69.22
Per year (10 Years) $830.59
1-Time Charge $6,678.57
This proposal will meet the needs of the community to provide clean safe affordable water and ensures financial success in the future”.
Motion 11-06-35 MOVED BY Cathy Marcella and SECONDED BY Susan Cote:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Motion 11-06-05 be revoked. Carried.
Motion 11-06-36 MOVED BY Cathy Marcella and SECONDED BY Susan Cote: WHEREAS the Coleman Water Distribution System Project cost are as follows:
Municipal Capital Cost of Project $402,672.00
Less Road Resurface Costs $ 17,425.00
Total Water Project $385,247.00
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Council of The Corporation of the Township of Coleman approved Proposal # 2: 49 Water Users will pay for 85% of total infrastructure costs based on estimated usage Per Month $69.22
Per year (10 Years ) $830.59
Time charge $6,678.57 Carried.
Mayor Cleroux stated that he supported both motions.
The Clerk-Treasurer has been instructed to prepare the Water Rate by-law for the 2nd meeting in June 2011. The Clerk-Treasurer will have to make sure the time agrees with the municipal “Notice By-Law”
Councillor Perry thanked Council for reconsidering their decision and making a decision that is fair for all residents in Coleman.
Mayor Cleroux inquired if the Bass Lake committee is in place. Councillor Perry advised the Committee is in place but they have not met yet. A list of the Committee members will be presented at the next meeting.
A public meeting will be scheduled for the Water Users in the near future.
Motion 11-06-37 MOVED BY Pat Tresidder and SECONDED BY Cathy Marcella:
BE IT RESOLVED THAT this meeting do now adjourn. Carried.