March 12, 2014

Town will investigate Ospringe pond deal

As published in The Erin Advocate

Town Council has requested a staff report on the Pidel subdivision at Ospringe, after a resident complained that residents are being asked by the builder to form a corporation to assume liability for the storm water pond.

The 43 landowners jointly own the pond, through their deeds and the provisions of the subdivision agreement from about 10 years ago, according to resident George Rigas. He asked to address council at its February 18 meeting, even though he had not registered as a delegation, and council agreed because he said the matter was urgent.

The Town will soon assume ownership of the roads in the subdivision, and Rigas would like the Town to also assume responsibility for the storm water management works.

“This was promoted as a lake,” said Rigas told council. “We should not be the owners of municipal sewage works.”

At last week’s meeting, Mayor Lou Maieron objected to council’s initial reaction, which was to appoint two councillors to work with staff to investigate the matter (though this was not in the minutes). He said the full council should either consider a staff report or appoint an ad hoc committee with agreed terms of reference.

“This is very complicated and outside the norm,” said Maieron. “Let’s see what’s in the agreement, and the provincial requirements, and determine how much of the problem is our problem. Maybe it is just between the builder, developer and residents. This could have serious implications financially.”

Councillor John Brennan said the matter is not as urgent as first thought. All councillors agreed to having a staff report.

The mayor said it is important to find out if all property owners are in agreement on this issue.
“With public ownership comes public access,” he said.