The city and Glengarry County appear set to enter into a water-sharing agreement that will help improve some dire conditions in which rural communities are mired.
City council was updated Monday night on a scheme that will see a water pipeline connected to Cornwall’s system, which is fed by the St. Lawrence River, and transported through South Glengarry into North Glengarry communities like Maxville and Alexandria.
“I look forward to administration coming back with the next steps,” said Coun. Maurice Dupelle, who echoed support for the idea from other city councillors.
Mayor Bob Kilger will join Glengarry leaders when they make a pitch to the province for more funding for the project.
Residents and businesses in North Glengarry find themselves with a water system that is nearly at capacity and costs dearly every year to operate.
North Glengarry chief administrative officer Dan Gagnon told councillors his municipality spends 10 times the amount Cornwall spends to treat its water.
He added some businesses truck water in to their facilities, including Maxville Manor which spends $95,000 a year on water.
“That water is in great demand for new and existing businesses,” said Gagnon. “This is a critical investment for Glengarry County and the City of Cornwall.”
The $3.1-million design component of the project is nearing completion, and the $60-million construction portion of the plan should be ready for commencement this summer – pending senior government approval on funding requests.
The project will not cost the city anything, though it will be able to bill its rural partners for the water it receives, as part of a cost-recovery plan.
The city is expected to sign on to a 50-year partnership with its rural neighbours in Glengarry County, which includes a 20-year option.