Township of the Madawaska Valley – Water and Waste Water

Madawaska Valley – In order to assist the residents and ratepayers of the Township of the Madawaska Valley understand the issues surrounding the water and waste water services, a number of articles will be published with the intent of providing the public with historical information relating to these services. It is felt that these articles will provide some perspective into the intentions of previous Councils from the inception of the water and wastewater services in 1967 to the present day.  All information referred to will be based on facts documented within minutes of meetings, by-laws, studies, memos and recommendations found within the Township records.

The first notation found within the records was in “September, 1967, when the former Village of Barry’s Bay Council requested the development of a Provincial sewage works programme to consider the entire sewage works requirements of the municipality.”
This application was accepted and the consulting firm of Butts, Ross, Magwood & Hall was retained to prepare the design. In order to execute this agreement, a by-law had to be passed by Council, subject to the approval of the Ontario Municipal Board, to authorize the Reeve and Clerk to execute this agreement. By-law 285 was passed by Council on March 16, 1971 to enter into or propose to enter into an agreement with the Ontario Water Resources Commission for the supplying of sewage services to the Municipality.  Part of this by-law stated
“The Corporation of the Village of Barry’s Bay enacts as follows:
The sewage rate is hereby imposed upon owners or occupants of lands for which a sewage service connection is provided to sewage works provided and operated by the Ontario Water Resources Commission under the above-mentioned agreement.
Similarly a by-law was passed, By-law 291, on March 16, 1971 regarding water rates. The wording for item #1 was exactly the same, except that the word ‘sewage’ rate was changed to ‘water’ rate.
Later that year, two By-laws were passed indicating when the new sewage and water rates would be imposed on the owners or occupants of the lands connected to the water mains and sewers. By-law No. 309 stated that “the sewage rate shall be imposed in each year commencing in the year 1972”. By-law No. 306 stated that “the water rate shall be imposed in each year commencing in the year 1973”. Records indicate that by-laws were passed each year with regards to water and sewer rates. These rates were applied to all users within the Village of Barry’s Bay as well as the users outside the village, in the Township of Sherwood, Jones and Burns.  It is indicated that there was an increased rate charged to users residing outside of the Village of Barry’s Bay.
During the inception years, concerns regarding water and sewer rates arose, as it appears, from correspondence within the Township records that the Reeve of the day requested the Clerk provide the Council of the day with a detailed history on this “controversial subject”. The Clerk reported that “an Engineering firm, the charted accountants, Clarkson, Gordon & Co., and later chartered accountants Geo. Welch & Co., the Ministry of the Ontario Water Commission, and later the Ministry of Environment top level officials, designed a plan for the purpose of collecting water and sewer revenues to pay for the operations of water and sewer services department”.

Article continues in the March 13, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.