Cobden residents appeal to council to repair watermain under Hwy. 17 0
Dave Stewart attended the township of Whitewater Region council meeting where he asked council to permanently fix the water main under Highway 17.
Dave Stewart pleaded with the township of Whitewater Region council to fix the watermain under Highway 17.
In his presentation, the Cobden resident, who has been affected by the numerous watermain breaks over the years asked council to fix the water main permanently.
“Please consider this a serious and urgent request to proceed immediately to replace the decrepit watermain from Cowley Street west along Highway 17 to the end of the waterline,” said Mr. Stewart.
“The July 22 break, upon discovery at 4:30 a.m. the road bed was so waterlogged that an inverted pylon could be pushed by hand and buried in the road bed. Imagine if a transport truck had dropped into that. Just imagine the sudden stop and the aftermath.”
He also voiced his concerns regarding the decaying cast iron reacting with the chlorinated water and the quality of drinking water after a water break.
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He stated area residents’ frustration that “all the incurred costs over the years have been wasted as they have no impact to correct the problem but are only a band-aid solution.”
“The only solution is the complete replacement of the waterline,” said Mr. Stewart.
Chief administrative officer, Dean Sauriol explained to Mr. Stewart and the crowd who attended the meeting, council has been working with and waiting for the Ministry of Transportation Ontario’s (MTO) final approval to resurface the highway, which will save the township money.
“The challenge is coinciding the project so the ministry is resurfacing the highway,” explained Mr. Sauriol.
The township and the ministry have been in talks for the last three years regarding the ministry’s resurfacing project. In an effort to save the township money council has been waiting for approval for the resurfacing portion to move the sewer lines.
However, now the project is in the final stages of receiving approval and the township’s engineer is recommending council wait till the spring to proceed with the project.
In an email addressed to Mr. Sauriol, Steve Webster, Jp2g Consultants Inc. Pembroke office manager, listed eight reasons council should wait.
He noted, “We believe that the cost savings associated with tendering the work in the winter for construction to start next spring would outweigh any costs that the township may experience this winter if there are additional watermain breaks. Also, if there are watermain breaks in the winter, the restoration of those areas could be covered off in the contract next spring.”
Mr. Webster also suggested the township could save money completing the project next spring, rather than this fall. With the construction season coming to an end, the township might pay more to have the project completed before winter sets in.
He also pointed out the ministry is giving the township a lump sum of money for the project.
“If the tender was awarded in late October or early November, the contractor could possible start some of the work this fall, but whatever they did would likely have to include temporary works such as some paving that would then have to be redone in the spring, since MTO is providing a lump sum payment to the township any of the ‘throwaway’ costs for temporary works will have to be borne by the township.”
“I think everyone of us agrees it needs to be replaced, admitted Mr. Sauriol. “When we do the job we want to make sure it is done properly.”
Reeve Donald Rathwell shared he would like to see the project completed this fall.
But when Mr. Sauriol explained the number of items the ministry and township need to completed before the township could tender the project he suggested “the best case scenario would be Nov. 1.”
Cyndi Mills is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist