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Continue lobby for regional utility: Stratford councillor

Coun. Steve Ogden speaks during Stratford council’s meeting Wednesday night. While Ogden supported a resolution for Stratford to officially enter into a wastewater agreement with Charlottetown, he said the town should continue pushing to create a regional utility.
Coun. Steve Ogden speaks during Stratford council’s meeting Wednesday night. While Ogden supported a resolution for Stratford to officially enter into a wastewater agreement with Charlottetown, he said the town should continue pushing to create a regional utility.

Stratford should continue lobbying for the creation of a regional utility corporation in the wake of a wastewater treatment agreement with the City of Charlottetown, says a town councillor.

Stratford council voted unanimously Wednesday to officially enter a 20-year agreement with the city that will see Stratford ship its wastewater to Charlottetown’s treatment plant on Riverside Drive.

The decision was followed by the approval of a separate resolution awarding the engineering tender for the pipe that will carry the wastewater.

While Coun. Steve Ogden supported both resolutions and complimented those involved in “difficult negotiations,” he said the town should continue to lobby to form a regional utility for the plant.

“I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I really think it could be better,” he said.
Ogden said he felt the creation of a “self-contained” regional utility would be a win for Charlottetown and other municipalities serviced by the plant.

“Everyone would feel they have a say in the operation of the plant,” he said. “It would have given us a seat at the table because right now we’re just a customer of the City of Charlottetown and I think, from their perspective, they would want our input on issues that might come up.”

Ogden said Stratford also asked for a 10-year cost certainty on the maximum rate per cubic metre but ultimately agreed to five years.

An agreement was informally reached between the municipalities, province and federal government earlier this year, with Charlottetown council approving the agreement during Tuesday’s meeting.

Stratford Mayor David Dunphy, who also chairs the town’s infrastructure committee, said the engineering tender that closed in June could not be awarded until the town formally entered the agreement.

“Now we can move into the next step, which is the design phase,” said Dunphy, who added he felt the agreement was fair to both municipalities and provided a long-term solution to Stratford’s ongoing wastewater issue. “We have a good agreement here to move the town forward.”

Council approved a resolution awarding the design tender of the wastewater delivery system to Stantec Consulting Limited for $248,285 including HST.

The total budget for Stratford’s part of the wastewater project, including engineering and construction, is $8.6 million. The federal government is covering 50 per cent of the cost while the province and town will both fund 25 per cent of the project.

Mitchell.macdonald@theguardian.pe.ca
Twitter.com/Mitch_PEI

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