Council divided on financially marrying Glen Walter, Lancaster waterworks

In this May 2019, file photo, Josh Eamon and Marco Vincelli of EVB Engineering make a presentation to South Glengarry council. The firm has proposed an option to financially join the Lancaster and Glen Walter water and sewer systems but council has mixed feelings about the idea. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LANCASTER – South Glengarry council has “mixed feelings” about financially joining the Lancaster and Glen Walter water and sewer systems.

That was a proposal explored Monday night as a consultant showed some options for covering the long term capital costs for maintaining the municipality’s waterworks systems.

Under the regional proposal, Glen Walter rates would go down 3 per cent next year ($1,077 to $1,045) while Lancaster rates would drop by 5.46 per cent ($1,105 to $1,045). The rates would then go up 3 per cent per year for the next five years (2022-2025).

Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden and Coun. Martin Lang are not in favour of a regional approach.

“Lancaster and Glen Walter are two separate systems and then you’re going to be pitting one group against another per se. I think having some input from the public would be wise to help us to make the proper decision,” Warden said.

Lang added that it would make it hard to negotiate a possible waterworks servicing deal for Glen Walter with the City of Cornwall under a regional system.

Couns. Stephanie Jaworski and Sam McDonell thought the idea should at least be explored. It would be “spreading the administrative burden…spreading the risk,” Jaworski explained.

“I’m not sure what the right approach is. I don’t know whether it’s regional. My mind says we should definitely investigate it,” McDonell added.

Mayor Frank Prevost says council has “mixed feelings” about a regional approach or keeping the systems separate.

The township has asked for more information from EVB Engineering – before any public meeting would take place – on what the institutional, industrial, commercial sector (ICI) is paying for water and sewer.