The do-nothing approach still stands in Breslau, but Woolwich will keep an eye out for opportunities to provide water services to the village at a lower cost, should residents some day decide that’s the way to go.
Tuesday night, councillors discussed the decision made at last week’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, opting to formally adopt the recommendation to drop servicing plans in the wake of strong public opposition.
Residents balked at forecasted costs of some $92,000 apiece to extend water and sanitary sewers to the older parts of the village. About a hundred of them turned out last week to argue against the idea.
However, Coun. Sandy Shantz, who chaired last week’s meeting, expressed concerns about safety and water quality, calling on staff to keep an eye out for federal or provincial government funding that might help bring municipal services to the community.
That, in turn, led to a debate over how much the township should do, with Coun. Ruby Weber noting that a longstanding policy dictates homeowners pay the full cost of servicing rather than the municipality picking up any of the costs.
Complicating matters somewhat are plans for an extension of water lines required to loop the system that now extends to the new subdivisions in Breslau. Some of the homeowners now using private wells and septic systems could have the opportunity to connect to the new pipes when they’re eventually installed.
That would, however, present the township with something of a dilemma when it comes to billing those homeowners: does it charge only the cost, or the full amount estimated in a consultant’s report, approximately $15,000 for water services? asked director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley.
He noted that allowing some homeowners to tie into the looped line at a much lower cost would mean the remaining property owners would face even higher costs should they opt for municipal services down the road, as the much more expensive project to extend services would be shared by a smaller number of people.
Seeming to side with the idea of seeking grants to help offset costs, Coun. Murray Martin argued residents in the older part of the village should pay no more than what homeowners in Elroy Acres paid for a 2003 project to replace a privately-owned communal well system, about $15,000 each.
“I’ve always favoured that.”