CORNWALL, Ontario - Coun. Denis Thibault is suggesting the city borrow millions of dollars to augment its ageing water and sewer system – particularly in areas where homes are flooded following powerful storms.
Thibault is arguing attractive lending rates that many municipalities currently enjoy won’t be around forever, and if the city is serious about quickly addressing flooding concerns in some neighbourhoods that seem to be continually plagued with floods, it needs to borrow to pay for system upgrades.
“The cost of money right now is fairly low…what will money cost in 15 or 20 years?” he said. “And what other things will start to blow up on us?”
A storm earlier this summer saw the basements of dozens of Cornwall homes flooded – in many cases because the city storm system in those neighbourhoods also doubles as a regular sewer system.
In other areas there are separate lines for both storms and regular sewage.
“Should we be looking at finding a way to invest in cheap money versus looking at long-term
potentially expensive dollars?” said Thibault.
CAO Norm Levac said if the city wants to act quickly there are few financial options.
“The only way to be able to bring those projects on quickly will be to borrow money and pay that back over a 20-yearterm,” he said.