Merrrickville-Wolford Council passed a motion at the council meeting on February 25 to accept an amended scope for a major infrastructure project in the Village. In March of last year, the municipality secured $1.9 million in funding to expand the water/sewer system in the Village. The money is part of the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, meant to help municipalities finance necessary repairs and upgrades to their infrastructure, which is a serious issue for many cities and towns in the province.
Unfortunately, upon investigation by the engineers, it was found that the current infrastructure is in worse shape than they thought. “They also found a lot more bedrock, and harder bedrock, than anticipated,” CAO Doug Robertson told council.
Upon consultation with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), which is the organization footing most of the bill for the project, it was decided that they would narrow the scope of the project in order to stay within budget.
The only change is that, instead of the infrastructure along Lewis Street going from St. Lawrence to Read Street, the extension will only be going to St Patrick Street. Councillor Timothy Molloy expressed concern about the large parcel of land on Lewis Street, from St. Patrick Street to Read Street, and whether this would inhibit any future development there from hooking up to services. CAO Doug Robertson says they will be talking with the property owner and that the engineers have assured them that any development on that lot will still be able to hook up to services.
This item was a last-minute addition to the council agenda, as staff were waiting until the new project scope was accepted by OMAFRA. “We are trying to make sure this project is on time and that we get the tender out early to make sure we get the best price for construction.” Also, part of the condition on the funding from the province, is that the work be completed during the 2019 fiscal year.