• James Armstrong

Extension of Vaudreuil-Dorion water system awaits provincial approval


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

The dream of potable water flowing from a faucet remains elusive as the boil water advisory continues in sectors of Vaudreuil-Dorion.

The project of extending the Vaudreuil-Dorion water system with the installation of a water main along Route Harwood continues in a holding pattern awaiting provincial government approval. Residents of the affected areas of Hudson Acres, Tree Farms and Ritchie sectors received a letter from the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion in mid-October that briefly describes the current situation.

Tenders received for project

“We’re inching ever closer to starting the work,” commented resident Glyn Jones upon receiving the letter. The city confirmed they had received tenders for the project that were opened on September 26 and the lowest compliant bidder was slightly below the estimated cost of $2 million for the project.

According to the letter, Vaudreuil-Dorion is now obliged to wait for approval from the Ministère des Affaires Municipales et de l’Occupation du Territoire (MAMOT) before awarding the contract to the lowest bidder.

The city is also awaiting approval for a grant from the Quebec government Programme d’infrastructures Municipales d’eau (PRIMEAU) to cover 50 per cent of the cost.

Elusive final authorization

City officials reported they were awaiting final authorization from the provincial environment ministry during the city council meeting held Tuesday, October 2 as reported in The Journal. At the time, they planned to convene a special council meeting to officially adopt a resolution to proceed with the project once the approval was received.

The lack of potable water began in October, 2013 when a Boil Water Advisory was issued to the residents of the Hudson Acres area and was exacerbated by the failure of the Ritchie well in 2015. Since November, 2013, the city has been distributing potable bottled water to residents.

Proposed solutions

Two possible solutions were presented in December, 2014 to the residents: dig a new well or install a connecting pipe to the city water supply. The cost of a new well was estimated at $425,000 and the installation of the aqueduct connection at $2,000,000 without a grant from the provincial government.

Following a meeting with Hudson Acres residents in April, 2015 to discuss possible solutions, either new wells or new water mains, the city held a survey on the subject. The result of the survey was heavily in favour of connecting to the municipal water system.

During 2015-2016, the residents affected by the failure of the Ritchie well were invited to join the project and an application to the Quebec government was made for financial assistance covering 50 per cent of the cost of the project.

“Some people have lived here for a long time and have been paying for the wells,” said Jones, adding, “They are not very happy about paying again.”

Impact on taxes

The cost of the project will be applied to the residential properties of the affected sectors. According to the recent letter from the city, the estimated increase for a home with a municipal evaluation of $300,000 is approximately $550 per year for a period of 30 years. Work on the project is expected to take 12 weeks, once the project is completely approved.

“We’re hoping for a really nice Christmas gift,” said Hudson Acres resident Louise Gauthier. City officials did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.

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