CANADA

How Brudenell’s proposed utility pipeline might impact its businesses, residents

THREE RIVERS – Arny Nabuurs, co-owner of Nabuurs Gardens in Brudenell, said utility services in the area would be a positive change for its businesses.

“There’s nothing available to them right now except their own private wells and septic systems,” he told The Guardian. “There’s been pushes in the past to have this public utility made available.”

During an April 12 meeting, Three Rivers council responded to that push by deciding to seek funding to expand Montague’s water and sewer pipeline into Brudenell. This was listed as a priority item in Three Rivers’ memorandum of settlement when its communities amalgamated in 2018.

Three Rivers recently had a report conducted to see how feasible it would be. The possibility of extending the pipeline to Poole’s Corner was also considered, but that was determined to be unfeasible right now.

The proposed project would allow residents to receive municipal utilities and would foster economic growth for area businesses, Deputy Mayor Debbie Johnston said.

“It’s something that the business community needs,” Nabuurs said. “I hope that in the long run, it will entice business to come here if that utility is available to them.”

Coun. Alan Munro questioned what impact might be felt by area residents. He referenced a unique situation council dealt with earlier this year where some Montague residents were blindsided with unexpected utility bills.

“Douses Road was poorly, poorly handled by Three Rivers, and we’re going to need to give the homeowners in Brudenell as much time in advance before we start presenting bills to them,” Munro said.

Residents pay additional costs for a pipeline on their street whether they attach to it or not – unbeknownst to Douses Road residents, bills had been accumulating partly as a result of Three Rivers’ post-amalgamation transition. Two residents who live on the road had addressed council during a January meeting.

“If you fellas are going to send us bills of $200 every three months,” 80-year-old resident Vonda Loane said, “I’m going to have to sell my home. Where in the hang am I going to go to live?”

Council couldn’t do much to resolve that situation at the time. Brudenell residents would likely see some additional costs for a pipeline, though not necessarily to the same extent – regardless, Mayor Edward MacAulay agreed more notice should be given to residents.

“Unfortunately the residents on Douses Road were a casualty of amalgamation,” he said. “However, the law requires that you do pay for it whether you’re hooked up or not. That’s not our law.”

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