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Township officials encouraged by meeting on water, wastewater

by Patrick Raftis

MAPLETON - Mayor Neil Driscoll was encouraged by the outcome of a meeting between township officials and provincial infrastructure minister Bob Chiarelli on April 6.

The focus of the meeting, held at Chiarelli’s Queen’s Park office, was Mapleton’s struggles to afford an upgrade of wastewater treatment facilities that would allow a long-standing development freeze to be lifted.

The mayor, along with township CAO Brad McRoberts attended.

“I think the meeting went very well,” Driscoll told council on April 11.

“We had sent our request to them ahead of time; they had done some research on our municipality, as far as our lending abilities. He made some good suggestions. I think we made some good inroads … and the minister of infrastructure is aware of our situation and he committed to getting back to us within a month or two with some more information. It was a very good meeting and I look forward to the next one.”

In an email response to questions from the Community News, McRoberts explained the meeting consisted of the minister asking questions about Mapleton “and about the magnitude of the development outlined in our letter.”

The CAO said the township provided “conservative estimates of the significant economic stimulus” that would result from current approved and planned development.

“We highlighted that conservatively there would be an economic stimulus of over $120 million as a result of this development over the next 15 years in materials and labour from the construction of residential homes alone,” McRoberts states.

The CAO added “there was some clarifications regarding our current debt capacity” and the township will follow up with the ministry to get further details.

McRoberts said the minister indicated that although he could make no commitments, he would keep Mapleton in mind if there were any infrastructure funds available in the near future.

“In this regard he indicated that he would get back to us in the next few months,” McRoberts explained.

While there was also brief discussion regarding upcoming federal infrastructure funding and potential opportunities through those programs, the province was unaware of the details or criteria of those funding programs at this point, McRoberts explained.

“Overall, both the mayor and I felt that the meeting was both positive and encouraging, although no commitments were made,” the CAO stated.

April 21, 2017


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