Land transfer may not happen
It doesn’t appear the transfer of land between Seguin and Parry Sound will happen.
Seguin and Parry Sound proposed the border adjustment for future development of the land that would give Parry Sound 132 hectares of land.
The deal needed two thirds of landowners to agree, and given comments from Tuesday night’s special meeting, that’s unlikely to happen.
Any future development would need both municipal services of sewer and water instead of septic and wells. Seguin Township believes that the municipality that provides those services should have the land within its borders.
With at least one development year in preparation for that corner of Seguin Township it is a given that the area of forest, waterfront and wetland will one day include roads and buildings. As Parry Sound’s mayor said, when that day comes, if nothing changes from today, those developers will look to tap into Parry Sound’s services.
When that day comes we’re back to today, with the potential the border is adjusted whether residents want it to or not.
So, if the two-thirds of landowners needed to approve the deal aren’t forthcoming today with a much higher tax rate if they become part of Parry Sound, could Seguin not put provisions in place to provide the services itself at some point?
Could the township, with the good financial planning that’s nearly made it debt free, find a way to put aside some monies every year for future water and sewer projects?
When McDougall put its new water system in, each household along the waterline had to pay thousands of dollars whether it was connected to the system or not. That, after the federal and provincial governments covered more than two-thirds of the cheaper option of tapping to the town’s water system rather than updating its own.
That amount of money is more than many can afford.
Also, Seguin’s villages are spread throughout the municipality, making the more affordable central septic and water system unrealistic for the entire region. Public water and sewer was proposed for the village of Rosseau, during the visioning exercise a few years back and was left as simply too expensive at the time.
But could the village of Foley and area support water and sewer with if the proposed development goes ahead?
It’s quite possible that the answer is no. That the up-front costs and monthly bills would rise more than what is affordable.
But, if the answer is yes that’s a solution worth putting to residents.
After all, the township could start a savings account today to help with future construction costs.