Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ridgeville Potable Water Station Update

If you have driven by the corner of Canboro Road and Effingham lately, you will have seen some changes to the former private water filling station. I want to give you an update on the work being done.

On June 30, the company that had been operating a private water filling station for more than a decade closed its business. That company had rented the location.

Immediately after the closure, the Town received many calls from rural residents who wanted to know from whom they could purchase safe drinking water to fill their cisterns. In addition, two water haulers contacted the Town about how they could provide safe water to Pelham’s rural residents.

Because of the Province’s stipulations for higher water quality standards, most other Niagara municipalities – including Lincoln, Grimsby, Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Welland, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and St. Catharines – already operate their water filling stations.

Staff approached Council at our July 19, 2010 meeting and suggested that the Town enter into a letter of intent with the property-owner to provide a water filling station at that location. Council unanimously agreed and gave authority to develop a lease agreement and begin site preparation.

The Town organized a public open house August 20 to better inform immediate residents and business owners of the proposed changes. Participants were encouraged to fill in comment sheets with questions or comments.

Then, based on the feedback from the community and the plans, Council agreed to proceed on August 23 with a temporary lease agreement (three years) with the property owner. Council was clear that a water-filling station at that location it is not the long-term vision for Ridgeville; accordingly, the Town will use the time to find a more permanent location.

So what is planned?

First, only bonded water haulers that enter into an agreement with the Town can use the station. This will allow us to stipulate the hours of operation – from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM weekdays and 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on weekends – and ensure that the Town is paid in full for water usage. We can also stipulate the traffic route, that vehicles do not idle while filling, and the type of trucks are used so the roads don’t get torn up. (These items cannot be regulated with private operations.)

Second, since the number of Pelham residents who require delivered water has not changed, we don’t anticipate an increase in truck traffic.

Third, the existing site will be paved, additional parking spots for Ridgeville shoppers will be added, and the water spout will be of the latest, safest technology.