SLPC Riverside Cedar Campground planning ongoing

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
SLPC Riverside Cedar Campground planning ongoing

Tying into municipal water and sewer services is being examined as the St. Lawrence Parks Commission plans its redevelopment on the Riverside Cedar Campground.

In late 2021, The Leader first reported that a design contract was awarded for what a redesigned Riverside Cedar Campground would look like.

Since then, the SLPC has looked at tying the campground into Municipality of South Dundas services west of the campground. Municipal water and sewer services extend from Morrisburg east to the Evonik Oil Additives plant east of Nash Creek.

A feasibility study for extending services three kilometres east from Morrisburg was commissioned by the SLPC in 2020. That study also looked at connecting sites on the Long Sault Parkway to municipal water and sewer in South Stormont. Details of that study was not released.

Spokesperson Katie Forrester explained the SLPC is looking a the connections as much of the infrastructure at Riverside Cedar is original to its construction over six decades ago and “beyond its useful life.”

She added that the priority is to replace aging septic systems at the campground.

“Two of the four septic systems at the campgrounds are failing, requiring regular pump-outs for the washrooms.”

The SLPC has had preliminary discussions with South Dundas and South Stormont over connecting municipal services. A more detailed design and engineering study for connecting services to both municipalities is underway. No formal agreement has been made with either municipality and the agency.

According to the agency’s business plan, if SLPC’s facilities in South Dundas and South Stormont are connected to municipal services, this would allow for the decommissioning of 30 septic systems and 34 wells on the agency properties. Emergency sewage pump-outs and repairs to its campgrounds – including those along the Long Sault Parkway and Riverside Cedar – are expected to cost the agency $835,413 between 2023 and 2025.

Infrastructure Ontario is assisting the SLPC with work to transfer land to South Stormont in exchange for extending municipal services to Long Sault Parkway. The SLPC’s business plan does not indicate any land-for-access trade is under consideration between South Dundas and the agency.

The SLPC’s plan to spend on infrastructure at its facilities is part a west-to-east plan to improve all locations owned by the government agency.

“Revitalizing infrastructure and improving facilities will act as a catalyst for further economic development with greater tourism activity in Eastern Ontario,” Forrester said.

Design of a revitalized Riverside Cedar Campground is nearly complete but will not include Class D estimates for the project. A Class D estimate is considered a high-level estimate of an approximate cost of a project. Once the completed designs are reviewed by the SLPC Board of Commissioners for review, more detailed designs and estimates will take place.

Whether or not a connection to municipal services is made will determine what spending by the provincial government would be made on the campground.

“Revitalization investment would be bolstered by connection to municipal water and wastewater services, to allow for future growth and development at the campground,” Forrester said.

No time line was given for when a final design plan would be released or when construction will begin. In the meantime, once the preliminary work is completed, she said the SLPC will be looking at other short-term improvements and spending at the park.

Since 2020, the Ontario government has funded over $10 million in capital projects to the SLPC including redevelopment of its Browns Bay campground, and new washrooms at other campgrounds.

This article was originally written for The Morrisburg Leader

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