| Mar 24, 2005

Feature article, March 25, 2005

Feature article March 25 2005

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Sydenham Water: Numbers are in at Last!

by Wilma Kenny

At the South Frontenac Water Committee meeting earlier this week, engineer Guy LaPorte of Totten Sims Hubicki submitted project cost numbers based on the tenders received March 1st. The rate schedule for homeowners, derived from these figures, is the first revision since the schedule was first published in December 02.


Although all agreed that these figures were only estimates, some encouraging points were noted. OSTAR grants are capped at $4,790,000; this leaves the municipal portion at $2,540,000. (These are rounded figures.) However, with South Frontenac picking up the growth component and some road improvements, Loughborough District paying for road improvements and hydrants, and the School Board paying its share, the village ratepayers portion falls to just under $1,700,000. Thus, overall increase in capital costs from the original estimates appears to be less than 5% for homeowners. ("The ratepayers" comprise 273 properties, which include commercial properties, apartments, community and Township facilities and 227 single family homes.)

A public Open House is set for Thursday April 7, at the Township Hall, Sydenham, from 2-4pm, and 7-9pm. Mayor Lake said this should be set up as soon as possible, now that some up-to-date figures are finally available. Information at that time will include a break-down of capital costs on a property by property basis, updated to reflect the present cost estimates.

Guy LaPorte said these figures will be based on the frontage figures on the assessment rolls, and encourages all property owners to check these figures to confirm their accuracy. Construction drawings will make it possible for people to begin indicating where they want the water pipes to enter their houses. TSH will also provide information about well closing requirements and costs: individuals who wish to continue using their wells for garden watering or drinking will not be required to abandon their wells. There will also be estimates of ongoing operating costs and water rates.

CAO Gord Burns confirmed that $2,000,000 has been allotted to a loan fund which will allow residents to amortize their start-up costs over a term of 20 or 25 years at a reasonable rate of interest: details on length and cost of loan per thousand will be available at the Open House.

Guy LaPorte reminded the Committee that they still had to establish an exemption policy and either process the applications on file, or solicit new applications. (Committee member Forbes noted that 50 or more properties have changed owners in the past two years.) The Mayor said that committee members were going to walk through the village immediately after the meeting, to look at some of the properties that might be eligible for exemption.

LaPorte said he hoped contracts would be awarded on April 5 (next Council meeting), so that construction could begin May 1st.

Bob Forbes, community member of the Water Committee later commented, "Its good to see some numbers, and get an open house set up to provide information to the residents. It looks like were beginning to move in the right direction."

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