Three options were laid out by Mayor Turner about the intention of this meeting. It focused on the Sewage Treatment Plant expansion and ostensibly the other Capital Projects. The three were three options to be considered in the course of the discussion. First, whether or not to go forward with the Sewage Treatment Plant expansion. Second topic, the funding options with regard to the three reserve funds as brought forward by Staff in the previous Council meeting with those being The Capital & Stabilization Fund, The Parks & Recreation Reserve and The Civic Facilities Reserve Fund, Finally, to get staff to review through a contractor cost recovery options. Next week, the week of April 6th, the Mayor continued, staff are to come back with a report "on the questions" posed. This meeting was intended to create "a forum for discussion" going forward.
Councillor Poole was interested in bringing policy into the thought process as well as looking at the assumptions of all that is required for Treatment Expansion to make sense operationally. Councillor Hooper wanted to go into a macro mode to get the big picture of the Capital Projects when considering the matter of the Sewage Treatment Plant Expansion project.
During the initial stages of the discussion Councillor Poole brought up a number of considerations that she wanted answers to relating to the Treatment Expansion. Among them were the matters of the capacity of Grafton to supply the Cove Bay build out, replacement cost of infrastructure as it ages and debt servicing costs. Councillor Hooper as well was concerned about the supply matter stating it had to be addressed or the Sewage Treatment Plant expansion would be for not. Councillor Frinton spoke in favour of much of Councillor Poole's concerns. He also brought up the issues around the bearing of taxation cost on Cove Bay water system improvement. Mayor Turner stated that not going forward was not an option at this time and that staff's attention should be focused on answering (solving) the unanswered questions.Councillor Poole brought up Councillor Morse's concern about potential limitations to the Cove Bay water supply. Councillor Morse was not in attendance to respond to her statement as issued in the read email.
Wolfgang Duntz, both member of the Cove Bay Water Management Committee and a developer of significant subdivisions on the island, brought forward a great deal of information that answered some of the questions the Councillors had just issued. His talk was expansive touching on the history of the Cove Bay water system reminding Councillors of matters around the Cove Bay water system that have been known politically since 1996. He even brought up thorny issues like matters of right of ways, expropriation, a new multi-million dollar water treatment facility -- all of which has been factored into the budgeting process for the Cove Bay water system.
Councillor Frinton responded to Mr. Duntz's remarks. While largely agreeing with the statements Mr. Duntz made, he re-phrased some of his remarks that he felt could be misunderstood by the public. Councillor Hooper felt more time should be spent to determine "who pays" for the expansion.
Mr. Duntz got up to speak again this time (around 1 hour, 19 minutes in) to give historical background and a contextual analysis of the thinking around selling off the surplus lands when it was purchased. Councillor Poole and Hooper then brought back in the issues around the costs surrounding the Sewage Treatment Plant expansion.
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