Oct. 25 water service bylaw discussion to be in Hillsburgh

Though its moving to a larger venue, the Oct. 25 meeting is still intended to be a chance for council to discuss its proposed water services bylaw.

The proposal for forced water hook-up has caused considerable controversy since spring.

Discussion originated in the wake of a controversial public meeting on May 31 regarding the town’s proposed water servicing bylaw, which would force connection to the municipal water system for over 100 homes near existing water mains in Hillsburgh and Erin.

On Sept. 20 Mayor Lou Maieron said it was previously suggested the meeting be held at a bigger venue, such as the Hillsburgh community centre.

Maieron said if numerous people show up, he didn’t want to be stuck with the question, “If you knew we were coming, why didn’t you make accommodation available.”

Councillor Barb Tocher noted the venue is not wheelchair accessible. She was not certain it was a requirement for the meeting, but did want councillors to be aware of the limitation. Tocher added she was confident people could still be accommodated.

Maieron clarified to the press and the public that the water meeting is being held in the upstairs hall of the Hillsburgh Community Centre on Oct. 25 at 7:30pm.

He noted previous discussion and stressed “this is not a public meeting, but an actual council meeting “for council to have an opportunity to review all the comments submitted, the questions that were asked, to determine if council needs more information.” He added there would be no delegations at the meeting.

“It is our first opportunity to discuss the matter as a council,” Maieron said.

Council had held off discussion over the summer months until the return of councillor John Brennan, who was absent due to health reasons.

“People wishing to attend will be there to observe, not to present their views at that time,” the mayor said.

Maieron added those individuals could make their views as a delegation at a later time.

“We don’t anticipate making a decision, but we do want to air it out,” he said.