Councillors here have a decision to make on the town’s Settlement Servicing Master Plan (SSMP) and Mayor Lou Maieron wants Credit Valley Conservation to come up with new information before that choice is made.
At a previous council session, Maieron outlined to council that he had requested revised flow rates from CVC with no response.
During an Aug. 25 telephone interview Maieron commented that original projected assimilative capacities of the West Credit River might have allowed Erin to expand to a population in a ranging from 7,000 to 12,000 people.
Maieron said that he believed that would allow a new system to provide for 5,000 existing residents and 5,000 new ones.
“Somehow at the 11th hour, the CVC decided to revise the flow numbers of the Credit River.”
Those figures only allowed for a projected population of 6,500.
The existing population would get priority treatment for servicing.
However, based on the current populations of Erin village and Hillsburgh – Maieron said that only leaves an expansion capacity of 1,500 people – or 250 new homes per community if split equally.
His concern was that the purpose of the SSMP was to accommodate new growth.
The mayor then went on to comment that he believed certain assimilative rates such as those for phosphorus are not being dealt with equally in different communities.
He suggested the allowable rate being considered for Orangeville, along with planned upgrades to its sewage treatment system to accommodate up to 10,000 more people, is far more lenient.
“It appears that Orangeville is getting government grant top upgrades and the ability to dump more effluent into the Credit River.”
The mayor stated that when he once again asked for additional information on revised assimilative rates for Erin, he was refused. “I found that outrageous. Is Erin being used to dilute a problem that Orangeville is creating?”
He said it appeared Erin’s potential growth is being hindered so that Orangeville can grow.
Maieron said he’d wanted to have optional numbers for the river’s assimilative capacity prior to the Sept. 2 meeting.
He said part of the intent of the SSMP was that the cost would be offset by new growth in the Erin community and developers would be contributing handsomely to a new sewage treatment plant and staging the growth.
He contended the current option would be expensive and leave little room for growth even if a state-of-the-art treatment facility was implemented.
Maieron asked why Erin would proceed with the next of step of an Environmental Assessment if little growth was allowed.
“Unfortunately we are not part of Dufferin County (and) the province has mandated that Wellington County take on a certain amount of growth.”
He added that the town is also limited due to a portion of its boundaries falling within the Greenbelt.