All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Friday, December 8th, 2023

Builder worried about lack of water pressure in Wellington

Conrad Guziewicz, of Sandbanks Homes, said a lack of water pressure in Wellington is putting the squeeze on new home building, for his company, and at least four other builders.

This recent development, if not fixed, he said, will not only affect the County’s bottom line, “but businesses like mine will not be able to continue to do business.”

Guziewicz said Sandbanks Homes builds about 55 homes annually with millions of dollars spent on fees, trades and supplies.

“I literally cannot build any more homes beyond the current inventory that I have. In about 18 months, I will not be able to build any more homes.”

No serviced properties, he said, results in no more homes being built.

“Substantial investment needs to be made,” he said, noting he was told a water tower was needed in the next few years, and a booster pump could be an interim measure.

“If we don’t make that investment as a community, the long-term problem it will create is tax pressure, housing pressure and lack of supply further increases the value of homes.”

Councillor Janice Maynard noted the problem can be addressed by adjusting timelines and financing for projects in the water, wastewater 20-year forecast which had been studied with five-year rolling averages for growth.

“As chair, I am going to endeavour to have this item added to our May meeting,” she said.

County CAO James Hepburn also noted staff is aware of the problem and finalization of a study related to the issue is on the way.

“We knew there was an issue, but not the severity,” he said. “With the final results of the study we may have some strategic solutions…. It’s staff’s goal to attempt to accommodate the developers and make sure they’re aware we are wanting to assist them. There are developers aware of the problem and they’re coming to the table with solutions with us,” said Hepburn. “The system that we have in place in Wellington was designed for the old Wellington. It wasn’t designed for an additional 2,000 homes.”

That study is expected around May 15.

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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    Within recent memory, Council formed a Connections and Water Committee (sorry forget its proper name) to investigate connection charges and water rates, etc.. I believe this committee was made up of council reps., citizens and representatives from the development industry? At no time was it reported that there was a “severe” water pressure problem in Wellington. It seems to me that this situation has come to light very suddenly. The question to ask is why? Frankly, if a developer wants to develop beyond the current capacity, why aren’t they being asked to pay for it or have the future home buyers pay for it out of the cost of their home? Hopefully this sudden new cost is not at the expense of taxpayers. Does anyone know if Picton has the capacity for the new planned subdivision development?

  2. Emily says:

    The dithering Finnegan Council is the one we have never recovered from.

  3. Snowman says:

    Home builders/construction/real estate industry loved those reduced fees.It helped them build/sell more and more. 50 units (per year) alone in one well known subdivision-on-the-lake
    Well now. The piper needs to be paid. Can’t have it both ways. It will be interesting to see the staff report. My guess is that the Capital Fund Reserve for Water/Waste Water is not adequate to fix this.
    So. Borrow the money and let ALL the ratepayers in the County pay it back?
    If all the subdivisions approved in and around Wellington wanted to build in the next 5-10 years water towers and booster pumps and bigger water mains couldn’t be built fast enough.
    The $12 per ratepayer that farmers were looking for will look like loose change, by the time this mess gets cleaned up.
    Does any one else get the feeling that this Mayor/Council/Administration are in way over their heads?

  4. hockeynan says:

    Dennis,sure as heck wouldn’t want you on my council

  5. Paul says:

    I am not off base here Fred as a matter of fact I’m more likely on point. Growth in Wellington has created a greater demand on aging infrastructure in Wellington. Reducing permit fee’s and connection fee’s would not help pay for needed infrastructure upgrades. I never said the County had raised farm taxes I suggested taxes including taxes on farms will need to be raised to pay for infrastructure upgrades in Wellington…

  6. Fred says:

    Way off base on this issue. The County should have been aware of water pressure issues and why they didn’t is to be found out. And the County did not in anyway raise farm taxes.

  7. Paul says:

    “For a good number of years, our municipality has tried to attract more residential development by reducing the permit fees and connection fees.” So where would the money come that is needed to improve infrastructure (water pressure) I know raise every ones taxes including farmers… 😉

  8. Dennis Fox says:

    hockeyman, man with skates, slap-shot or whoever you are – – been there, done that. How about you running for council, you would fit right in.

  9. hockeynan says:

    Dennis,why don’t you run for council.You seem to have an answer for everything, whether it is right or wrong

  10. Dennis Fox says:

    For a good number of years, our municipality has tried to attract more residential development by reducing the permit fees and connection fees. All has been a waste of time and tax dollars – apparently no one knew of the severity of the water pressure problem in Wellington?? Having the infrastructure in place prior to residential development approval is a basic. Now we are in a position of either approving a new water tower(and connections) or stopping development – and just who will pay for that? Sorry to say, but someone has dropped the development ball for this community very badly – this should never have happened.

  11. paintrman says:

    How about the developer pay for a pumping station and not pass on additional expense onto the tax payer. After all its his project.

  12. suel says:

    ……will this mean residents in Picton will have to wait longer before street sewer mains are repaired?…….do only builders and the like get special attention?….what about tax payers who have had countless issues with cracked water mains….believe it or not, it’s a problem and the county tells me it’ll be at least two years before it can be fixed on my street……..they’ve known about it for over a year…… why do I feel we need to keep fighting for tax payers to compete for priority?

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