Council update

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There have been two North Dundas Council meetings since the last update, one on May 2, and one on May 9. However, there is only limited Council business to report on, owing to the fact that there was no open session portion for the May 2 meeting, and approximately half of the May 9 meeting was a closed session as well. 

Municipal councils are allowed to meet “privately” – that is, with only Council members and relevant Township staff and third parties (not members of the public) privy to the meetings – but this can only take place under a limited set of prescribed circumstances. In the case of the May 2 meeting, the agenda lists the reason for the closed session as “Personal matters about an identifiable individual, including municipal or local board employees – specifically the Part-Time Fire Chief position.”

On May 9, a relatively brief open session of Council took place for Council members to hear a presentation on the Township’s draft water and sewer budget for 2023. That meeting ended with another closed session, once again regarding the Part-Time Fire Chief position. 

The draft 2023 water and sewer budget highlighted the growth demands that have been placed on North Dundas’ water and sewer infrastructure in recent years. There has been a 131% increase in new housing builds in North Dundas when comparing 2011-2015 to 2016-2021, with an astounding 1,810 new units proposed to be built in the Township within the next nine years. Council also heard that 66% of the growth in the United Counties of SD&G is occurring in North Dundas, suggesting that our community is an attractive place to live. 

The report presented to Council highlights the options available for funding the expansions to the existing infrastructure. Adding additional source wells is one necessity if North Dundas is going to keep up with both the current demand and the growth demands on the existing Winchester and Chesterville water and sewer systems. 

Mayor Tony Fraser was particularly interested in efforts to help rectify the issue of water discoloration for those connected to municipal water, particularly in Chesterville but to some extent in Winchester as well. Coloured water is not unsafe, but it is aesthetically unpleasing, and can cause issues such as stained laundry and more quickly deteriorating water fixtures. 

Councillor Matthew Uhrig raised a concern that an aging water distribution network may need upgrades to handle increased water system capacity. It was confirmed that such upgrades are planned and processed hand in hand with the expansion projects. 

A Council meeting took place on May 16, between the time of writing and time of publication. The next Council meeting will be held on May 30. 

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