Glen Walter waterworks: choices outlined but no ranking, EVB president says

Josh Eamon and Marco Vincelli of EVB Engineering make a presentation to South Glengarry council on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 on the future water and sewer serving for Glen Walter. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

Editor’s note: This story is a followup and clarification to a story on March 23, 2019 which said EVB Engineering recommended South Glengarry rely on its own water and sewer services for Glen Walter. In fact, it was WSP’s recommendations that were peer reviewed by EVB.

LANCASTER – The president of a Cornwall engineering firm, which reviewed the Glen Walter water and sewer servicing plan, says they are not recommending South Glengarry rely solely on its own services in the future.

Speaking with Cornwall Newswatch, Josh Eamon of EVB Engineering says the original recommendations came from the original consultant, WSP, and were not their own.

WSP’s “preferred options” were a new water storage tank and upgrades to the Glen Walter Water Treatment Plant and “upsizing” portions of the system for fire hydrants. On the sewer side, build an equalization tank to deal with flow from rain events while making upgrades to the Bray Street Pumping Station. The secondary options are having one or both services operated by the City of Cornwall.

While distancing itself from WSP, Eamon says the recommendations are not invalid.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say invalid. The township didn’t accept them when they were originally presented as we’re saying, yeah, it was a correct decision because it didn’t address future growth.”

He said their recommendations were solely to tell the township to review its service area for Glen Walter and evaluate the “alternative servicing strategies” and finalize a report with a new option and complete public consultation.

The slide presentation made to South Glengarry council last week had grouped so-called “alternative servicing strategies” together, labelled A, B and C. Eamon says that wasn’t a ranking.

“We’re not actually giving anyone a score, we’re giving them a number. Right now, the report they were provided by WSP is saying something completely different and we’re saying, no, we don’t agree with that recommendation. They’re missing the future growth and we’re saying, step one, determine how much growth you want to account for and then, step two, all of these options are on the table and they will be provided a ranking after we’ve gone through the analysis,” Eamon explained.

He apologized for the confusion in his presentation.

South Glengarry spent roughly $5,000 on the peer review of the $144,338 study.

Eamon also explained that they wanted the record set straight because their firm is hoping to bid on the contract to complete the new study.

“EVB Engineering has not been retained by the Township to date to complete the evaluation of the service population/future growth or the evaluation of alternatives so we have not completed the analysis nor can we recommend the preferred alternative to the Township at this time,” Eamon wrote in an email to Newswatch.

Less than an hour after receiving the email from Eamon, which had been carbon copied to South Glengarry’s infrastructure department, Infrastructure GM Ewen MacDonald lobbied this publication for a story “to ensure the public has accurate information as we move forward.”

“I will be recommending that we move forward with the recommendations from EVB to advance and complete the study based on the preferred solution that has been approved by council and presented to the public,” MacDonald wrote.