Cumberland council voted in favour of increasing the wastewater treatment budget, after a challenge from the Ministry of Environment created unexpected costs.
In February, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (MoECCS) threatened to fine the Village of Cumberland for not being in compliance with the province’s wastewater treatment regulations. This was the fourth time the Village has received a non-compliance notice since December 2016.
For 2019, the Village has budgeted $143,160 for liquid waste planning related projects, in addition to the $5.6 million for the capital treatment upgrade. Staff requested adding another $46,750 to the budget, sourced from the Sewer Accumulated Surplus to cover costs incurred working with the MoECCS.
According to a report put together by chief administrative officer, Sundance Topham, funds were not budgeted to help the Village defend themselves against the imposition of an administrative penalty from the MoECCS.
Wastewater consultants had to be engaged to draft background materials and work with MoE staff. A biologist also had to be hired ahead of schedule to plan the Municipal Wastewater Regulation registration. While hiring a biologist was in the plan, the Village had not expected to reach this step in 2019.
Council also approved the reallocation and removal of $100,000 for the Biochar Reed Bed project and reducing the project scope and cost to $40,000 – the majority funded through external grants – by removing the Wetland Pilot Test component.