The Chatham-Kent Public Utilities Commission has set a “tentative” date for the next public meeting about the future of Wallaceburg’s drinking water.
In an e-mail obtained by the Sydenham Current, a tentative date for the third public information centre for the Wallaceburg Water Supply Class Environmental Assessment is set for Wednesday, June 10.
PUC officials said in the e-mail the doors would open at UAW Hall in Wallaceburg at 6:30 p.m., followed by a presentation at 7 p.m.
Stantec Consulting was hired by the Chatham-Kent PUC to conduct the environmental assessment.
After presenting in detail a series of options at a meeting on November 26, which included rehabilitating the current Wallaceburg Water Treatment Plant, Stantec’s “preferred alternative” was connecting to the Chatham water supply, which gets its water from Lake Erie.
Wallaceburg Coun. Jeff Wesley made it clear ever since the Nov. 26 meeting about his concerns with the entire process and the “preferred alternative” by the consultants.
Wesley’s concerns, include:
– The public being informed at the latest public meeting that the issue “was a done deal and nearly impossible to change.”
– Lack of consultation with Walpole Island First Nation.
– WATCH (a local environmental group) is opposed to the preferred solution.
– Local business leaders, former members / chairpersons of the Wallaceburg Water Commission, along with a petition with close to 500 names are opposed to the preferred solution.
“Tom (Kissner) will respond to my concerns to all of council,” Wesley said. “Tom and I have agreed to disagree on my concerns.”
Wesley said he believes “no matter what you think about the preferred solution or in fact any solution” before the Chatham-Kent PUC makes any decision, they must do three things:
– Complete a full proper and open public consultation meeting where all of the options are on the table, in advance, and local citizens and business leaders can get their questions answered. The members of the PUC should attend to listen and learn and they should also review all of the submissions made by the public on this matter.
– A full consultation between Walpole Island First Nation and the Chatham-Kent PUB, including Commissioners, must be held.
– A meeting must be held with WATCH and their concerns discussed and addressed.
We’ll provide more information on this story when it becomes available.