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Merits of a municipal ‘water buggy’ before councillors, Thursday

Councillors are expected to discuss the merits of buying a “water buggy” at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

A staff report from the CAO’s office outlines financial and scenario implications of purchasing a mobile water distribution system.

The subject was pitched in March by Robin Lunn and Lynne Rochon, local members of the Council of Canadians, a social justice organization, to encourage the municipality to reduce plastic waste, encourage hydration and provide safe drinking water. The “buggies” have become popular in the area. Belleville and Quinte West recently purchased the units. Kingston’s water buggy was used in Wellington during the Royal Visit in 2017.

While a list of possible events that would be interested in using the buggy is significant, the report asks council to also look at maintenance and labour costs associated with owning it. Also, staff notes, some event organizers may not consider hosting the water buggy if water fountains are already accessible on-site, or if there is a conflict with vendors who intend to sell water and other drinks.

Costs to purchase range from $44,500 to $55,000, plus options including brand customization.
Other estimated financial costs, as referenced from Belleville, include about $500 annually for maintenance; $50 to $150 for the cost of water depending on the number of events serviced; the potential for rental fees to generate some revenue and staff costs to transport, set up, manage and clean the system.

Should council wish to move forward, staff recommends it be considered in the 2019 capital budget.

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  1. Gary says:

    Please do not make small of the water cost crisis here. So many are struggling.

  2. MICHAEL says:

    Gary, like did you actually read what I wrote… I’m trying to find that info and since Emile stated it as a fact I requested her to provide me with the source she found this information.

  3. Susan says:

    I think there was no slam on the splash pad other than identifying it as a perk, and thus why not a respectable humane society building. Seemed like a valid point. If we can build recreation then we should be able to do the same for animals in dire need.

  4. Dennis Fox says:

    It is my understanding that the splash-pad was paid for through donations, plus it is a huge attraction for kids. I think is it a great addition to the County. If this place wants to attract families, then such facilities are a must.

    On the matter of water cost – not being on municipal water, I have no idea how much a water bill is, but I do recall that some county papers have done cost comparisons and we are certainly one of the highest,according to them. What I also wonder about are similar comments about the cost of hydro – just what kind of increase have some people experienced? I have not received the huge increases that others have reported – maybe I have had a 10-15% increase over the past 5 years or so – but no where near what others are claiming. How much increase have some of you experienced – for real?

  5. Gary says:

    Show us a higher rate Michael. Like second or third would make everything ok.

  6. Emily says:

    Trust me, or better yet, just look at a bill! Staggering.

  7. Michael says:

    Emile; I have looked high and low on the internet for a site that does water costs comparisons for cities in Canada. Could you please tell me where you found the information that Picton has the highest water costs in Canada. I am extremely interested in seeing these figures you talk about. Thank you

  8. Michael says:

    Emile; tell me exactly how much did the splash pad cost the municipality?

  9. Mark says:

    Not one red cent should be put forward on this perk while residents are suffering dearly with unsustainable water costs. Not one penny!The fact that it is even being entertained tells you how out of touch Council is.

  10. Emily says:

    Absolutely they have a connection. All those frill things are very nice if you can afford them. Unfortunately this municipality is broke and should be looking after basics before frills. When young families can’t afford a home let a alone a water bill that is highest in Canada, we have a problem. Needs first, toys second.

  11. Michael says:

    Emile; please don’t tell me you do not like the skate park, splash pad and the fabulous new upgrades to the park. What; you still want to be living back in the 60’s? Plus these wonderful additions to Picton have absolutely nothing in common with a water buggy.

  12. Gary Mooney says:

    I agree with Paul Cole that this initiative is more appropriate for private enterprise.

  13. Paul Cole says:

    Maybe a partnership with say Pure County Bottled Water would be feasible. I’m sure they could work out a deal that would benefit both Pure County Bottled Water and The County, maybe I don’t know just an idea….

  14. Emily says:

    No one should be shamed for providing valid points why this may not be the greatest use of $55,000 taxpayers dollars.

  15. Keyboard Warrior says:

    I think the point is to reduce plastic waste. Good for these members of this Social Justice group. They are concerned with our environment. For the rest of you…SHAME

  16. wevil says:

    in my opinion let private enterprise have this one. there would be a definite liability that goes along with a water buggy

  17. Gary Mooney says:

    This seems ill-advised to me, for the following reasons:
    * While we are not on town water, we keep hearing that Picton water is less than declicious.
    * If people bring a water bottle with them, it’ll be filled at home. Do they really need more water during attendance of a couple of hours at a given event? Maybe yes if it’s an all-day event.
    * But most events have food trucks on site, selling drinks as well as food. If the sponsor has the right to refuse the water buggy in support of the vendors, it may be used only infrequently.
    * Presumably, the sponsor would have to pay a fee for the water buggy. Kingston charges $350 for one day. Will sponsors be willing to pay?

    Belleville and Quinte West have just purchased water buggies. It would make sense to defer further consideration until we learn something about the success or failure of this service in the two neighbouring municipalities.

  18. Emily says:

    Aren’t we just the cutest little tourist town keeping up with the trends? Skate park, splash pad, park renos and now a shiny new water buggy! Wonder if we could come back to our senses and build a respectful animal humane facility to help our animal friends that cannot help themselves. Just saying.

  19. Barney Rubble says:

    LMAO! Highest priced water in Canada and few like to shower in it let alone drink it. And some want to consider investing in peddling this stinking liquid to special events.This can’t be under serious consideration can it?

  20. Gary says:

    Where do we find the $$ for unbudgeted items is my question? Curious.

  21. Susan says:

    One other consideration is how the Municipality can guarantee the water is totally safe to drink when being transported and stored in this transfer unit. And just a reminder that Picton water is not a popular drink.

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