Emo interested in water source protection plans

Emo council seemed interested in being selected as one of just a few northern municipalities to participate in a pilot study on water source protection planning after hearing from Cambium Environmental at last week’s regular meeting.
Jim Bailey, senior project manager, and John Desbiens, environmental engineer, met with Emo council to wrap up the Ontario Municipal Source Protection Pre-Screening survey, which was conducted during 2006.
“The surveys intended to really provide an initial evaluation of what the individual municipalities across Northwestern Ontario . . . know about their drinking water sources,” Desbiens explained Monday.
He noted the pre-screening surveys also were to help assess the best way of addressing source protection planning in non-conservation authority jurisdictions, which is most of Northwestern Ontario.
The Clean Water Act, which received Royal Assent on Oct. 19, 2006, focuses on source water protection.
There is a difference as to how source water protection will be managed and administered through this legislation in conservation authority jurisdictions and the land to the north where there may not be such jurisdictions.
“But how do you identify which municipality would be a good case study?” Desbiens asked.
“[The Ministry of the Environment] wants to try it out with a couple, work out the bugs, and hopefully come up with an appropriate methodology for addressing source protection planning in the north,” he added.
Desbiens noted most municipalities recognize development usually means there will be some sort of impact on the environment, either negative or positive.
“It’s proactive to want to be involved in the pilot study because it means you start the process that much sooner,” he indicated, adding all municipalities in the province will be required to develop source protection planning eventually.
“It’s just a question of when,” he remarked.
Desbiens couldn’t speculate whether or not he felt Emo would be selected for the pilot study, which will be funded by the MoE, and didn’t know when such municipalities would be notified.
In addition to conducting the pre-screening survey, Desbiens and Bailey provided Emo council with some lasting value—offering a CD with mapping conducted in a GIS platform.
“We were hoping we’ve put down a foundation where the municipality can build their mapping capabilities to not only address source protection, but perhaps some of their other planning issues,” Desbiens said.
In other business at the Feb. 13 meeting, Emo council discussed security and other issues at the Emo curling rink.
Council suspected unauthorized individuals of using the facility after a coffeemaker was found incorrectly used during a time when no one was scheduled to be in the building.
The speculation continued as to whether the few keys to the facility have been duplicated.
“I don’t think changing the lock will solve this,” said Coun. Ken Fisher, noting the keys could still be copied. “We’ll have to keep a closer eye on it.”
In addition, there were reports brought to council that people using the curling rink have left the heaters running after they’ve locked up.
“They have to leave the building the way they found it, or they won’t be allowed to use it anymore,” stressed Emo Reeve Ed Carlson.
It also was noted the furnace at the Emo curling rink is in rough shape.
“It’s going to have to be replaced,” said Coun. Harri Sheloff, noting a new one likely would be more efficient.
“Whether we have room in the budget or not, we’ll just have to do it—it’s really bad,” echoed Coun. Gary Judson.
Emo council also:
•agreed to pledge $10,000 to the Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s “Just Imagine” fundraising campaign for a CT Scanner at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances over a four-year period;
•approved lift station pump repairs in the amount of $7,189.05;
•appointed Dan Wilson as Area and Municipal Weed Inspector for the Township of Emo for 2007;
•approved the 2007 recycling fee in the amount of $10,176 ($848/month, GST included); and
•agreed to donate township pins to the Royal Canadian Legion for “Command Crib” commencing March 9 in Emo.
Emo council’s next regular meeting is scheduled this coming Tuesday (Feb. 27) at 7 p.m. at the municipal office.