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Public invited to information session on Wellington’s new water tower

Artistic rendering of the new tank at Belleville Street looking north

People interested in the new water storage tank to be built in Wellington this spring are invited to a virtual information session Wednesday, Feb. 9 to learn more about the project.

Following the session the tender and award for construction are to be issued. The tank is to be built at the northeast corner of the Belleville and First Avenue intersection from April to the fall.

Presentation slides are now posted on the County website. The meeting is to stream live on the County’s YouTube channel, beginning at 7 p.m.

In response to concern about low water pressure and the ability to handle future development, capital work reports were brought to council in 2019 for discussion. In the 20-year plan, the cost for water system improvements were estimated at $10-15 million – those costs expected to be higher now mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain costs. The 1960s water system in Wellington has been modified over the years.

To fund maintaining and expanding water and waste water infrastructure, the municipality draws on reserves, rates charged to users, development charges and long-term debt in the form of loans through the province covering infrastructure capital costs.

In 2021, council adopted a bylaw to include area-specific development charges for the Wellington urban serviced area which provides the municipality with the tool to ensure growth pays for growth.

With thousands of new home starts planned over the next five years, the idea is that while existing water and wastewater customers can expect their rates will go to the continued maintenance of the service, they should not have to pay for costs that serve growth.

Development charges are fees collected from developers at the time a building permit is issued. They help pay for the cost of infrastructure required to provide municipal services to the new development, such as water and wastewater infrastructure as well as roads, transit, community centres and fire and police facilities.

The plant equalization tank design was approved by council in 2021 at a cost of $650,000 with construction pending approval at a cost of $5,650,000.

Work identified in the Wellington Master Servicing Plan (infrastructure upgrades for immediate and long-term growth) also includes watermain ($6,550,000) and sewermain ($5,550,000) trunks (in design phase – 2020). The water treatment plan replacement – design and construction ($23,500,000) and wastewater treatment plant replacement ($18,150,000) – were pending completion of environmental assessments, and next, council approvals.

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