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Drainage Act for Wardsville?

The Canadian Press logo The Canadian Press 2020-12-08

SOUTHWEST MIDDLESEX - A budget meeting held Wednesday, 2 December 2020 saw council and staff inch closer to finalizing the 2021 budget. The largest decision of the evening related to finding a fix for storm water struggles in Wardsville, and council hopes that the Drainage Act can come into play to save the township some money on what would otherwise be a multi-million dollar project. 

Council moved to initiate a petition under Section 4 of the Drainage Act as the road authority for the village of Wardsville. This effectively distributes the costs amongst landowners in Wardsville, instead of the general taxpayers across the entire township. As the road authority, the municipality would be assessed a significant portion. The County, who owns two roads in the community (Longwoods Rd. and Haggerty Rd.), would hypothetically be assessed for their portion as well, explained Public Works staff. 

Part of the Drainage Act involves public meetings, where staff meet with all affected landowners for feedback. “There would be no direct assessment to people,” said Public Works manager Greg Storms. “There would be a process to find out what residents really want to do with their drainage problems. It will bring information back to this council table, and if that process determines that nobody wants to do anything about drainage, I think that discussion needs to happen at council.”

Coun. Martin Vink, who voted against the motion, believes that more work should be done to improve the sparse drainage infrastructure that already exists in Wardsville. 

“My point has always been that I like to see the same sort of services across the municipality. If you have a drain that’s in Glencoe, and it’s not working, are you going to ask for a municipal drain? I don’t think so, it’s going to be fixed.”

Moving on with other budget items, council voted to drop the paving of the municipal parking lot in Glencoe from this budget. 

“I think that is more of a want, not a need,” explained Coun. Doug Bartlett, who seconded the motion. Council will reconvene Wednesday, 16 December 2020 to continue with budget deliberations. 

 

McKinley Leonard-Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Middlesex Banner

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