The North Dundas Council met for the final time in 2020 on December 15. Much of the business surrounded roads and water. The Council accepted the Road Needs Study, commissioned from D. M. Willis & Associates. This report submitted is all tolled, over 85 pages. All roads were studied: gravel, surface treated, and hot mix, asphalt. It is more efficient to maintain roads in a timely fashion. It is cheaper to maintain existing roads than repair or replace them. The study ranked the roads from those in immediate need of repair or replacement, to those that can wait five or ten years, providing regular maintenance is carried out. The Public Works department and Council will use this report to develop a Road Improvements Plan intended to cover the next ten years.
Council hired J. L. Richards & Associates to carry out a Schedule C Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) for the Township water capacity expansion. The Township needs to plan for acquiring more water. North Dundas is growing faster than expected, and with it, an increased need for water. Going forward, the Council will be updated on the water situation every six months. It was expected that demand for water would increase by 100 residential units over the next five years. Now it is expected that the demand will be for 350 residential units over the next three years. That’s a big increase. The township has identified a couple of possible solutions, and are working towards them. Currently the wells in Winchester and Chesterville are running at 76% of maximum capacity. If growth continues at the current expected rate, the wells could be at capacity by 2023. The Township supplies water to Chesterville and Winchester, which includes the Lactalis plant. Currently there are eight active wells, five pump houses with chlorine disinfection, two storage reservoirs, one in each Chesterville and Winchester, two elevated storage tanks, one in each Chesterville and Winchester, and 41.5 km of distribution pipes. The Township is pursuing two avenues for accessing more water: purchasing land in order to drill more wells, and investigating the option of bringing water from the St Lawrence. Should the latter prove possible, it will represent the largest such investment in the Township’s history. Council has initiated discussion and investigation regarding both these options.
Council approved allowing Storm Internet use the Winchester Tower for the next three years. They also approved an agreement between the Township and Service Line Warranties of Canada Inc (SLWC) to offer warranties to residents of Winchester and Chesterville to cover the pipes that connect the plumbing to the main lines. This connection is on private property. It is not a municipality responsibility, and most insurance companies will not cover it. Water remained on the agenda as Council discussed various issues around new developments, and the balance between keeping development costs low enough to encourage more growth in the area, while not overburdening the existing tax base. It was noted that the existing tax base outside of Winchester and Chesterville are mostly on private well and septic, and Council noted that it is not fair to overburden the rural taxpayers. Public Works updated their projected budget for 2021, and costs were reviewed.
The Meeting Package for December 15 was 238 pages. If anything mentioned here peaks your interest, you can access all the information online. The package for the council meetings can be found on the Township of North Dundas website, under “Local Government & By Laws: Council.” There you will find a complete list of all 2020 Council Reports and Minutes. The entire meeting packages can be accessed easily online prior to the meetings, and the minutes of the meetings are posted in the meeting package of the following meeting. Remember, this is your council. Have a look on the website and find out what’s going on.