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TBM council supports recommended new water plant in Craigleith

A water treatment plant in Craigleith would cost an estimated $66 million, taking water from Collingwood would cost about $61 million
A report recommends a new water treatment plant in Craigleith to service the eastern part of The Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains council has provided unanimous support to a recommendation to pursue the construction of a new water treatment and water storage facility in Craigleith.

At its committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 27, council received a staff report regarding the environmental assessment process to determine a solution to water treatment and storage needs for the Craigleith, Swiss Meadows, Castle Glen and Osler Bluff areas of the community.

To service that area of the town, the report recommends the town pursue the construction of a new water treatment plant in Craigleith, with an accompanying water storage facility.

Council voted 6-0 in favour of endorsing the recommendation in principle and gave staff permission to set up a public information centre to present the preferred alternative. Coun. Gail Ardiel was absent from the meeting.

The report identified four possible options to expand water treatment capacity in the east end of the town. Two possibilities included expanding the existing Thornbury water treatment plant and constructing water storage facilities in two different areas of the town, the third was the Craigleith plant option and the fourth would be to expand the amount of water the town receives from Collingwood with a water storage facility to be built near the Village at Blue.

The costs for each possible alternative were estimated at: Thornbury 1A - $57 million, Thornbury 1B - $61 million, new Craigleith plant - $66 million and the Collingwood option - $61 million.

“The costs are all falling in essentially the same range,” said project consultant Jane Wilson. “Cost is not a significant driver.”

The report examined various possible rates for future development in the town and concluded each of the four options could sufficiently service the expanded growth.

The costs of the project are eligible for financing through development charges.

“All the work proposed is to support new development and growth in the community,” said Wilson.

Council received the report and passed the resolution on the matter with little discussion.

Next steps on the project are to hold the public information centre, a follow-up staff report and once a preferred alternative is formally adopted by council a detailed design phase and environmental assessment would proceed.

The report anticipates that The Blue Mountains will continue to receive some water supply from Collingwood. The resolution passed by council included a section directing staff to continue to actively participate in Collingwood’s water treatment plant expansion process.

Collingwood continues to explore options for an expansion of its water treatment facility. Collingwood council had a six-hour closed session meeting on Feb. 26 on a variety of topics including an update on the water treatment plant expansion. There was no rise and report on that subject out of that meeting.

With files from Jessica Owen


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About the Author: Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

Chris Fell covers The Blue Mountains and Grey Highlands under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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