City of Cornwall puts up notices outside The Care Centre

A heating and hot water notice outside The Care Centre at 510 Second Street East in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. The city stepped in last month and temporarily connected heating and hot water after Cornwall District Heating shut it off in a contract dispute with the owners of The Care Centre. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The City of Cornwall has taken a very public step in notifying residents of The Care Centre that their heating and hot water may be cut off next month.

City officials put up two large billboards – one in English and one in French – around 11 a.m. Tuesday as a notice regarding heating and hot water service at the building at 510 Second Street East.

The owners’ legal counsel, John Robinson, was standing across the street when Cornwall Newswatch arrived.

“It’s a notice to residents why are they pointing it to the world? The neighbours are like, ‘What is that? It’s absurd.’ they said,” Robinson said. “It’s pointing out here. They are not even going to see it. It’s seems a little contentious. It’s unfortunate.”

There are approximately 45 residents living at The Care Centre.

“They’re scared (the residents). They’re going to be more scared now. All this because the water was turned off because of a contract dispute – during the moratorium. It makes no sense to me. I’m sure it’s a tempest in a teapot and it’ll all be resolved,” Robinson said.

Two large signs in English and French outside The Care Centre at 510 Second Street East in Cornwall, Ont. on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 let residents know about the impending disconnection next month if the owners of the center don’t contract the service. The city stepped in last month and temporarily connected heating and hot water after Cornwall District Heating shut it off in a contract dispute with the owners. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

The Care Centre has until Aug. 17 to contract heating and hot water or the City of Cornwall will have the “temporary connection” turned off.

The Care Centre is at the tail end of converting from Cornwall District Heating to natural gas with Enbridge but co-owner Dan Orr said they ran into delays due to coronavirus, leading to Cornwall District Heating shutting the service off June 10. The city then stepped in and ordered it reconnected.

The city is allowed to put up the signs on Second Street East, according to the vital services bylaw. In the bylaw, it says the city can serve notice by personal service, registered mail or “by placing a placard in a prominent position on the exterior of the property.”

City brass, with police and paramedics, attempted to rush into the building last week to talk with the residents and give them notice, but there was a heated exchange outside the building between them and co-owner Dan Orr. Orr told Cornwall Newswatch that he told them they were not allowed in the building without a warrant, a position also supported by Robinson.

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