The Town of Hawkesbury is applying to the Ontario government to borrow $8,425,000 from the Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation, better known as Infrastructure Ontario, for capital improvements at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex and the water treatment plant. Council approved a by-law to borrow the funds when it met on June 28.

The ice rink refrigeration system at the sports complex was installed in 1978 and needs to be replaced. The cost of a new system is estimated at $2,500,000 and the town has applied for a loan from Infrastructure Ontario to cover the entire cost.

It will cost an estimated $9,500,000 for the water treatment plant upgrades, which will involve improvements to the chemical storage and feed system, the clarifier, and filtration system backwash. The town has applied to Infrastructure Ontario for a $5,925,000 loan for the project.

The remaining $3,575,000 of the project will be paid for using a $1,974,124.26 federal grant, revenue from a special infrastructure user fee totalling $1 million, and $600,875.74 from the municipal water reserve fund.

Replacement of the arena refrigeration system is projected to begin in May 2022 and end in December of that year. The water treatment plant upgrades are projected to happen during the same period of time.

The loan payment period is amortized over 25 years from 2023 to 2047, at an annual interest rate of 2.5 per cent.

There was no further discussion among councillors when they voted on June 28 to approve the by-law to borrow the funds from Infrastructure Ontario to pay for the water treatment plant upgrades and sports complex refrigeration replacement projects.

Sewers on TV

Watching a television broadcast of what’s going on in Hawkesbury’s sewers is the sort of program most people would choose to miss, but for the Department of Public Works and Engineering, knowing the condition of the sewer system is important.

On June 28, Hawkesbury council unanimously approved a $200,000 budget for closed-circuit television inspection to be done of the sanitary and storm sewer systems before the end of 2021. According to a report from Director of Public Works and Engineering Jonathan Wilson, the last time an inspection was done was in 2008, and another one is necessary so that staff can flush out an action plan for future repairs and replacements.

The 2021 capital budget already included $100,000 for unspecified sewer rehabilitation needs, and the 2021 operating budget included $30,000 for smaller-scale sewer inspections. The remaining $70,000 will come from the storm sewer reserve fund.