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Developer will up-front 60 percent of cost of new pumping station

'We will definitely engage council as we progress through this process,' said CFO for InnServices
Residential housing construction continues in the Sleeping Lion Subdivision on Line 6, creating a need for a new sewage pumping station. Miriam King for Innisfil Today

A larger Sewage Pumping Station #2 is needed on the 6th Line of Innisfil, to service planned Phases 3, 4 and 5 of the Sleeping Lion Subdivision.

InnServices, the municipal corporation established in 2015 to operate Innisfil’s water and wastewater infrastructure, is proposing an agreement with the developer (Cortel Group), that would see the developer up-front 60 percent of the cost of the pumping station, in return for guaranteed units of water and wastewater allocation, and Development Charge credits.

The credits ensure that the developer will not pay twice for the needed infrastructure.

Council okayed the agreement, but only after Coun. Bill Van Berkel raised issues of transparency, and past problems with Pumping Station #2.

“I want to make sure this pump station is state-of-the-art - that what has happened in the past… doesn’t happen again,” Van Berkel said.

During an intense rainstorm in mid-January of this year, several homes along Line 6 were flooded with raw sewage, after rainwater overwhelmed the existing pumping station. 

“We had to redo things, we had to go back for more money. This has to be done right,” the councillor said, asking to see a list of the contractors bidding on the construction contract, “rather than just take the lowest bidder.”

Tim Cane, Director of Growth, explained that InnServices is taking the lead on the design of the pumping station, to meet the town’s short-term and long-term needs. The RFP (Request for Proposals) process will be public, Cane said.

Manager of Legal and Clerk Services, Lee Parkin explained that the pumping station is an InnServices project. “They are the ones who are controlling the procurement process… so Council wouldn’t see any bids or any submissions for this particular project.”

Parkin noted that bids are evaluated not only on price, but the experience of the company and other “set criteria.”

“Council wouldn’t be involved,” he said, although council does have the power to approve or amend.

“I know that InnServices are doing this, but are they not doing this for the town? Are we, in council, not in control of the town? Innservices is a branch of the town. Do we not have the right to know what’s going on?” Van Berkel demanded, asking to see not the tender bids, but the names of the contractors. “They’re building it for the Town of Innisfil, not for InnServices.”

“I appreciate where you’re coming from, Councillor,” responded Mike Mellinyshyn, CFO for InnServices, promising, “We will definitely engage council as we progress through this process.”

Deputy Mayor Dan Davidson called on InnServices to also reach out to the development community, to draw on their experience. “I think it’s imperative that they get working on this right away,” Davidson said, working with the developers “to do it right, to do it on budget and fast, and no mistakes like we had before.”

The new sewage pumping station #2 would replace the existing station. The agreement suggests that InnServices and the contractor will “attempt to complete construction by Dec. 1, 2021, recognizing delays related to COVID.”

Council voted in favour of the deal; however, the agreement can only be finalized after the Innisfil Developers Allocation Group Agreement is executed, sometime around Sept. 23. 

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Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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