Arlberg Cresent Sanitary Servicing

Arlberg Cresent Sanitary Servicing

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Have environmental studies been undertaken to support this project?

The Arlberg Crescent Service Area is identified in the Official Plan as a full service area for both water and wastewater services. It is a goal of the Town to eventually provide water and sanitary services to designated areas. A Comprehensive Environment Assessment was completed for Craigleith, Osler and Castle Glen areas which determined the preferred solution with respect to servicing this area. This study identified several future servicing projects to be undertaken by the Town of The Blue Mountains (TOBM) including the Arlberg Crescent. Some of the identified servicing projects have already been completed.

2. Why is there a significant cost difference between the two projects (Hoover/Teskey vs Arlberg)?

There are three cost components that affect the price difference in the projects. The basic philosophy for cost allocation is that any benefiting property is responsible for costs to service that particular property given the actual costs within the service area in question. Since there are differing costs within and between the Thornbury and Craigleith Service Areas, the bottom line costs also differ.

The three components to the costs are:

  • Treatment Plants
  • Trunk Sewer
  • Local Service

Treatment Plants

Each benefitting property owner must purchase a “share” of the treatment plant capacity. The cost of construction and outstanding debt for the two plants are different and therefore the share of the treatment plant is different. The share cost is determined by estimating the cost of the ultimate build-out of the plant and dividing it by the number of existing and future serviced lots. The same cost share is applied to existing lots to be serviced and to new lots created though development projects. The cost for a share of Craigleith Plant capacity is less than Thornbury’s Plant capacity because a significant amount of the plant has already been constructed and costs recovered.

Trunk Sewer

The project on Arlberg Crescent in Craigleith does not include any sewer trunk charges. The Craigleith Wastewater Treatment and Collection system was constructed and paid for many years ago and therefore there are no trunk charges for the Arlberg project.

Local Service

The final cost component is that incurred to extend the wastewater service from the Trunk Sewer to the property line of each lot within a set Local Service Area. All the costs to construct the Local Service are divided equally amongst the benefiting property owners. These costs will by effect vary from one Local Service Area to another due to differing types of construction challenges and restoration.

3. What is included in the estimated private cost of $4,000-8,500 to connect to the proposed new sewer?

The estimate for private costs include the cost of permits, installation of a grinder pump*, excavation for connection to the existing line and connection to the Town’s lateral at the property line. It also includes septic tank decommissioning by utilizing sand or gravel to fill the tank. There is no requirement or allowance to remove the septic leaching bed. Costs will vary for each lot depending on landscaping, connection distance, internal plumbing required and the location of the existing septic system. The figures are only an estimate for owner to understand the scale of the potential expense. Each owner is encouraged to obtain cost estimates from several reputable plumbers.

*The sizing of the grinder pump unit is determined by the home owner or the home owner’s contractor.

4. Once work commences, how long is it expected to take?

We anticipate the public tender will be issued this spring and construction will commence by late summer. The estimated time for the project to be completed is three months. When construction is substantially complete and the sewer is ready for use, residents will be informed that they can connect after obtaining a sewer connection permit from the Town.

5. How will access to our property be affected during this period?

The Town’s Contractor will be required to maintain access to all properties for fire, ambulance and police and residents at all times. There will be brief periods though during the day when access to a property will be restricted to allow the Contractor to complete specific work in front of a property which is impossible to do without cutting off access to a driveway.  The Contactor must restore access to each property at the end of every day.

6. When is the location point on private property to plan access to the sewer determined?

Early in the construction process, owners will be contacted and requested to fill out a Service Connection Location Sheet for their property to specify a location for their connection along the frontage of the property. Generally, the service location should be close to the centre of the lot, avoid being in a drive and 2.5m away from the water service shut off. The location though will also be somewhat dependant on the existing septic tank location since this is usually where the connection to the grinder pump is made. If an owner has questions concerning the proper location and how to fill out a Sewer Connection Location Sheet, the owner is encouraged to contact the Town for assistance in determining an appropriate location.

7. Do I have to connect to the system or do I have a choice?

Owners will have 11 months after the passing of the Final Cost Recovery Bylaw to connect to the system. If an owner does not connect their septic within the 11 months they are also assessed an unconnected sewer fee. The current (2014) unconnected sewer fee is $22.63 per month. Regardless of whether an owner connects to the wastewater service, the owner will be assessed a share of the capital costs.

8. What is the yearly cost for wastewater treatment?

The monthly flat fee for wastewater is $45.26. The consumption charge is $1.58 per cubic meter after 5 cubic meters per month. For comparison, the average wastewater user fee for 2014 will be approximately $460 per year based on the typical yearly water meter consumption of 180m3.

9. What was the basis behind calculating the project cost estimates?

The cost estimates were prepared by the Town’s consultant, C.C. Tatham & Associates, and these estimates are contained in the Engineering Design presentation on the project web page.

10. Do we have to pay for the charges upfront or is there a time period when payments can be made?

The project is expected to be completed  in late 2014. Once the project is complete, final costs and per unit costs can be established in a by-law. Based on the project timeline, the by-law will be passed in 2015. Payment will be due at the time of by-law passage, with the following options for payment:

  1. Payment in full;
  2. Financing of the full amount with the Town based terms set by the Town’s affordability policy.

Financing terms may include repayment over a 15 or 20 year period that Council deems to be affordable to owners. The interest rate  is set at the time the by-law is passed.  The annual repayment amount is billed on the property owner’s tax bills.

3.  Financing of a partial amount, should a resident choose to pay a portion of the balance due at the time of by-law passage. The remaining balance will be subject to the same financing terms as noted in option 2.

Repayment of the full amount of the balance owing on the loan  can be made at any time, with no penalty applied.   The balance of the loan becomes payable at the time a property is sold, conveyed or transferred.

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