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Friday, October 27, 2017

Town Reluctant to Renew Full OCWA Contract

Saugeen Shores | by John Divinski  

Saugeen Shores wants a one year deal, instead of the usual five with OCWA

The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) is not getting an automatic 5-year servicing agreement extension as it has in the past, from Saugeen Shores.
At its October 23rd meeting, the Town's Committee of the Whole approved having the Director of Public Works, Amanda Froese, inform the agency that the municipality wants to negotiate a one-year extension to December, 2019 only.
Froese says OCWA has new management personnel in place and wants to give them an opportunity to show what they can do.
You may recall last March, some councillors had concerns about the 2016 inspection rating from the Ministry of Environment on the local operation that came in at 89%.
Many believe the rating should be around 98%.
The agency agreed then the rating was too low and systems were in place to bring it up in the future.
The issue had nothing to do with the quality of drinking water or the operation to provide it, but rather with shortfalls in record keeping.
Froese says, "The management has changed and (they) haven't been there long enough to judge (their capabilities) by the end of December."
She is confident OCWA will agree to the one-year extension but if not "Then we would have to give notice that we would not be automaticallly extending (the contract any further)."
The service contract would then go to tender and OCWA would have the opportunity to bid.
Mayor Mike Smith admits the notice on the contract term is short notice but he's sure OCWA will understand the issue.
OCWA operates the water services for the municipality.

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