Letter to the editor – Kemptville water sewer system

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Dear Editor,

Kemptville water sewer system

An article elsewhere on the web has given me concern regarding Council’s consideration of expanding the sewage treatment plant. I would like to ensure that the Mayor, Council and general public are reminded of the following:

1] At the time of municipal amalgamation, it was determined that everything to do with the water/sewer system would be paid for by the users, with minimal amounts paid by general taxation to cover water used by the Fire Department. Residents of the then Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower townships were assured they would not have to support this particular infrastructure.

2] Growth pays for growth through assessment at the time a subdivision or other expansion is approved. A formula exists to determine what percentage of sewage capacity new development would use, and a cost was levied against the developer. Revenue from these assessments would go into various reserves, including a water/sewer reserve. Given our commercial and residential growth over the last 20 years, we must have a pretty healthy reserve fund.

3] Property owners outside the urban area would continue to be responsible for their own well and septic systems.

4] One of the options put forward while I was mayor was to build large settling ponds behind the treatment building, so that waste could be stored during peak hours and then processed at night. Has Council considered this?

5] Water/sewage usage is currently paid for via a meter system, with all costs reassessed via a separate annual budget.

Our taxes are already high enough, and going higher as we fund more and more social programs. If, Mayor Peckford, you are considering changing this time honoured formula, you will have a rural taxpayer rebellion on your hands.

I raised this question via the Kemptville District Community Associations Facebook site, and Mayor Peckford replied: “We aren’t sure what will happen”.

Her answer scares me.

Bill Gooch former mayor

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