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A new water main is to be installed in the Pebble Beach area at the south-west end of Cobourg and while that is being done, it was thought that a sewer line could be installed.  Currently, all properties in that area use septic tanks for sanitary disposal so a sewer would seem to be a benefit.  The town will finance the water main but only partially cover the cost of the sewer.  It is proposed that some of the cost will be covered by a grant from the Provincial government's Small Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund although the application must be done soon.  The remaining cost will be covered by property owners and the cost for a hookup is expected to average $22,000.  This will be subject to "support from the local community".

Small Town Radio 89.7FM reports some controversy over how this support will be gauged.  Councillors Donna Todd and John Henderson were quoted as saying that the planned publicly gathered petition would not be suitable because this is a private matter and the information should be collected professionally and privately.  If a petition is used, names would be public and this would pit neighbours against each other.  It was not stated how the results of the "petition" would be used.  Is a majority required or what?

My guess is that many owners would see little value in the $22,000 required - even if it is gathered over a number of years.  You can pay for a  lot of septic pump-outs or cleanings with that kind of money.  It may add value to their property but that's not quantifiable.

A public meeting of owners was held  last week but a decision has not yet been made except that owners plan to ask the town to pay a greater proportion of the cost.

Update to Pebble Beach Sewer proposal

November 3, 2013

The cost estimates first provided were high and were only for the case where no subsidy was received from the Province. The following is in a planned letter to all households.

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The estimated cost of this project (sanitary sewer installation) is $2.4 Mil (this price is conditional on the work being completed in concert with the LUSI water main project in the summer of 2014) The town has applied for provincial funding for a part of the project cost.

The cost details breakdown as such:

Party Without provincial funding With Provincial funding
Home owners (total)
Each Home Owner
Town
$1,669,000
$17,700
$833,000
$625,100
$6,650
$625,000
Home owners annual cost
Amortized 10yrs
Amortized 20yrs
$ 2,057
$ 1,237
$773
$465

* please note that these figures are based on our best engineering estimates, the actual cost of the construction project will be used for the final figures.

In either case the sewer charge will be added to the home owners water bill upon connection, this surcharge is approximately 150% the water use charge.

In the event the project proceeds home owners will be required to connect to the sanitary sewer within five years of the completion of the sewer installation.

In the event the project goes ahead a by-law will be passed by the Town Council authorizing an area surcharge to be added to the taxes of each effected property for the term of the amortization, this is a fixed amount that is NOT subject to change over time.

+++++++++++++++++

If all approvals are received on time, the project is expected to start April 2014 which is when the water main construction will start.

Update Nov 15

At a public meeting Nov 11, residents made it clear that they don't like any of the town's proposals.  In fact 68 of 95 residents have signed a petition rejecting all the towns proposals - so it seems they will not be getting sewers.  The petition has been submitted to the town and they are checking validity of signatures - the result will be presented to the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday 18th.  Councillor John Henderson warned that if lake levels continue to rise, the higher water table may get polluted by the Pebble beach septic tanks and the Ontario Ministry of Health will mandate that everyone will have to have sewers.  In that case, residents will be on the hook for the full cost.

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