Much like the our town of Erin is going through currently, the town of Nobleton, Ontario, has recently undergone construction of a centralized sewage treatment plant. The plan to build and connect Nobleton home to the system has been a long and costly process to this point, and has caused a number of problems for the town and its residents.
There are a number of similarities between the situation and Nobelton and the one we are facing in Erin, and it provides a good opportunity for our town to see the possible implications of implementing this new plan. Construction of the initial phase of the Nobleton plan was completed in 2011 and following completion residents were scheduled to hook into the system at by predetermined dates, decided by a variety of criteria (lot size, distance etc).
Unfortunately for the residents of Nobleton, not only does construction of the centralized treatment centre add to the towns debt load, but hooking houses into the system has also added significant costs for homeowners. According to the King City website (Broader Municipality that Nobleton is classified under) the average cost for property owners to install and connect to the system is $18,790. Since there was little outcry and dialogue from Nobleton residents there is little they can do to avoid having to pay these costs. Starting in 2011 with construction of the treatment centre complete, designated residents must begin to comply to hook-up notices from the town by specific dates. Residents are obligated legally to pay these expenses because of Bypass 2010-38, that was passed by town council.
These are the kind of costs that Residents of Erin would likely see if a centralized system is built in our town. Unfortunately for Nobleton residents that was not the only problem with their plan. Initially construction and hook-up was to take part in 2 phases. Phase 1 is scheduled to be completed by 2014, with phase 2 planned to begin after. Unfortunately major development projects like these do not always go according to plan. In March of this year, Nobleton Mayor Steve Pellegrini stated that phase 2 of the plan will not be going forward as of now, because of increased costs. According to the Mayor plans have not been going as smoothly as anticipated, and the cost for residents to be hooked into the system during phase 2 has grown to an obscene $50,000. The major and council cannot justify putting the burden of these costs to so many residents.
So this leaves Nobelton in limbo. They have invested significant funds into construction of this system, but it has not been completed to date, and does not appear to be financially viable any time in the near future.
Is a centralized sewage system really worth thousands and thousands in new expenses? Is it worth adding all this debt to the towns books with no guarantee?
As stated, the Mayor of King had to put on hold Phase 2 residents (the hook up was split up into 2 phases) as the cost to each resident would have been more than $50,000 as stated above. It seems that quoted costs are never lower than anticipated but end up higher. In this case significantly higher. Is this a risk Erin/Hillsburgh residents are willing to take?
Don’t be like the people of Nobelton and wait until it’s to late to make a stand.