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Grant for water treatment plant timely, welcome news

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, with PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff, at the funding announcement Monday at Shire Hall.

A 737,948 funding announcement for improvements to the Picton Water Treatment Plant was well-timed, welcome news for the County Monday morning.

The state of the system, which supplies water to Picton and Bloomfield residents and businesses, has been in the spotlight over the past two weeks when it was shut down as a precaution following the spill of fuel on a barge partially submerged in Picton Bay.

“The timing in impeccable,” said Mayor Robert Quaiff, after what we went through over the past couple of weeks with the water treatment facility. The funding is greatly appreciated and comes at a time when it’s much-needed.”

While application for the grant was made some time ago by Wendy Lane, the County’s Grants, Contracts and Special Projects Co-ordinator, the County was pleased to learn the final funding amount which will go toward rehabilitation of filters, improving the chlorine system and upgrading some structural elements at the plant. The funding will also help examine making changes to the carbon filter system to better handle an incident like a hydrocarbon discharge.

The work is necessary, Quaiff said, noting it has already begun.

The mayor also said a sub-committee of council and members of the construction trade are currently addressing costs of the County’s water and waste water.

“We are going to have a conversation about perhaps expanding the Wellington intake and getting rid of the water intake in Picton. That’s going to require some partnerships for sure – like a third, a third and a third, but we’re going to take a look at that and weigh the differences of our liability exposure for the insurance of the intake and having piece of mind with the water from Lake Ontario.”

Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, made the funding announcement at Shire Hall.

“Technology, in terms of water and waste-water treatment plants has advanced so much over the last decade,” Leal said. “Providing pristine water to our communities is so very important.”

Leal thanked the mayor for leadership demonstrated over the past two weeks.

“It shows municipal leadership at its best when you can take charge and reassure your citizens of what is happening each and every day. That’s an important leadership quality that nobody in this community should ever forget.”

Leal said he understands the unique challenges that rural communities face, from road rehabilitation, to aging infrastructure.

“I remind everybody that in the late 1990s through the downloading exercise, 43 per cent of all the roads and bridges were downloaded in eastern Ontario, and of course much of the infrastructure was built right after the Second World War, 1945 to about 1954 and so is now getting to 60 and 70 years old so it is now the time to replace, renew and rehabilitate.”

Picton is one of 55 communities to receive support from the province through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) to build and upgrade local infrastructure. OCIF supports projects in municipalities with a population of less than 100,000 as of the 2011 census, as well as municipalities in northern or rural Ontario.

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  1. Chuck says:

    One bizarre Council meeting tonight. They had the Clerk pulling her hair out over procedural foolishness. I think (because hard to decipher what took place) that Council is once again in support of the Terminal. ???? !!!!

  2. Gary says:

    Well you wouldn’t pipe raw water from Wellington past Bloomfield to Picton for teatment and then pipe it back. Would one? Might better pipe treated water. I hope these decisions are made with this funding in mind. Or is it strictly for the Picton plant. We need a plan. And I hope that Lake Ontario water isn’t close to Wellington beach which is closed more than open because of ecoli.

  3. Marc says:

    Does the water intake pipe plan involve changing water treatment plants? I’d never heard that. I assumed it simply involved a pipe from Wellington to Picton.

  4. Chuck says:

    I hope all that money doesn’t get thrown into the Picton treatment plant and then it gets shutdown if we are changing water sources to Lake Ontario.

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