City inspecting The Care Centre’s water system

In this July 2020, file photo, a heating and hot water notice outside The Care Centre at 510 Second Street East in Cornwall, Ont. The city is inspecting the building's water system and taking samples on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 because it believes the existing boiler system the building flipped to is not potable. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – City inspectors will be going through The Care Centre this morning (Friday) to inspect the building’s hot water system and take water samples.

The details are laid out in a notice of intent to enter the 510 Second Street East building, given to the co-owners of the facility on Thursday.

As Cornwall Newswatch told you earlier this week, the building flipped over to its own hot water system on Monday (Aug. 17) after Cornwall District Heating, contracted by the City of Cornwall to extend heat and hot water since June 10, shut off the service, based on the city’s self-imposed deadline.

The building owners say they have getting an Enbridge gas-powered hot water and heating system in place but the work has been complicated and delayed by COVID-19 while at the same time being muscled by Cornwall District Heating to sign a long term contract, which has led to at least two brief disconnections.

In the notice, Acting Chief Building Official Charles Bray says the city “learned” that hot water was being “provided to the building through other means,” the center applied for a permit for a gas-powered heating system and that there is no natural gas provided to The Care Centre.

Bray concedes that the “information has not been confirmed” but is “operating under the assumption” that the center is using the existing hot water boiler system from the Cornwall General Hospital that was originally sold in 2014.

“The City is concerned for the health and safety of the Care Centre occupants, as the use of the existing boiler system for hot water may cause the water supply to cease being potable,” Bray alleges.

The city is using its vital services bylaw and the building code to conduct an inspection of the building today.

The Care Centre and the City of Cornwall have been in a years-long legal battle over how the building is being used and operated. The case is currently under appeal with a judgment expected soon.

The owners’ paralegal, John Robinson, has characterized the antics of the city as a “tempest in a teapot” and believes they will be successful in their case.