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Milne, Smith vote to trigger facilitated talks with County, Essa, BWG opposed

Posted March 14, 2017

Simcoe County council, in a recorded vote, approved this morning a motion to engage a provincial facilitator to begin negotiations with the 16 municipalities regarding a "future role" for the upper tier in water and wastewater operations - a municipal domain.

New Tecumseth mayor Rick Milne, and deputy mayor Jamie Smith, supported the motion. Bradford West Gwillimbury and Essa Township were the only south Simcoe communities to vote against it.

While Simcoe County has authority as the approval agency for official plan amendments from the lower tiers, it has no jurisdiction in the operation/ownership of water and wastewater infrastructure at the municpal level.

Last fall, the County agreed to finance a $57 million loan package to a shell corporation set up by the Town of Innisfil to fund the infrastructure expansion to service the Innisfil Heights area around its Hwy 400 corridor and Innisfil Beach Road.

Deputy mayor Smith told Free Press Online this morning via text reply, that the County motion is not binding on municipalities.

"This motion does not commit the Town to doing anything," wrote Mr. Smith, "but allows a facilitated conversation about the future management of shared infrastructure like the pipeline and the sewage pipeline to Georgian Bay in the which will be required in the fairly near future."

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All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri
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