Significant expenditure authorized at Council meeting

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by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kemptville’s water pollution control plant – which is the proper name for the wastewater treatment plant in Kemptville, which is owned and operated by the Municipality of North Grenville – has had an expansion planned for a number of years, and a significant funding request was made for that purpose at the December 14 Council meeting.

Plans for the expansion of the plant have been ongoing for about five years, and include upgrades to the treatment technology, equalization tanks for wet weather events, septage receiving, and additional digester space. Much of this work is to account for population growth in the Municipality, as well as the proposed Kemptville correctional facility, with some of the additions being paid for by the Ministry of the Solicitor General. The December 14 request to Council, which was presented by North Grenville Director of Public Works, Karen Dunlop, was to authorize the total expenditure, which will be offset by other funding sources, and to allow Director Dunlop to apply for a $10,000,000 low interest loan with a 15% grant in order to cover some of the expenses of the expansion.

During the meeting, Mayor Peckford asked Director Dunlop to confirm that the plant expansion – which had an initial goal of doubling the plant’s capacity – is not related to the planned correctional facility, and was, in fact, started years ago. Director Dunlop confirmed this, and said that it is the growth of the serviced area of North Grenville that made the expansion necessary. Councillor Barclay questioned why a report in 2015 estimated the cost of the expansion to be about $20,000,000, while the total cost is now estimated to be double that. Director Dunlop clarified that the $20,000,000 in the 2015 report accounted only for upgrades to the plant, and that other identified needs, such as the equalization facility, brought the initial estimate up to $29,000,000 at the time. The rest of the discrepancy is accounted for by the additional expansion demanded by the planned correctional facility, the costs of which will be covered by the Ministry of Solicitor General.

Council ultimately moved to authorize the estimated $39,390,000 expenditure for the plant’s upgrade, with Mayor Peckford making it clear that the cost will be offset by third party funding sources, including the $10,000,000 loan for which Director Dunlop was authorized to apply. The municipality is expecting to put out tenders for the remaining expansion work following funding approval in March or April of 2022, with an estimated project timeline of two years.

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