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County council agrees to wastewater management contract extension

County of BrantCounty council agrees to wastewater management contract extension

County of Brant council members agreed to extend their contract with the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) for 10 years, beginning in 2023, during their Administration and Operations committee meeting on Tuesday, April 19. 

The first year of the contract is estimated to cost the municipality $1,473,000.

County of Brant staff and OCWA staff negotiated minor amendments to the agreement to reflect current and unseen operating conditions. 

During the meeting, Councillor John Bell asked Rob Walton, General Manager of Operations for the County of Brant, how the cost for 2023 compared to that of 2022.

“While I don’t have the exact numbers, I understand that it is a marginal increase,” Walton said. “As we’ve seen some increases in energy costs, those are things where we will see a raise in cost. This is a cost plus contract with the management fees set out in the contract and then the actual costs being what they are.”

The cost for the management is broken down into six categories; staff salaries and benefits ($426,856), supplies and equipment ($250,162), electricity and fuel costs ($402,000), biosolids management including disposal ($97,099), third party services ($181,555) and OCWA management ($118,328). 

The contract will see the OCWA provide Wastewater System Operations, which includes the operation of the County’s wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations, and collection systems, for the 10-year period.

Some of the amendments to the new contract include; addition of requirement to operate two new sanitary pumping stations constructed to service new development, requirement for OCWA to provide operations during a workforce strike, and requirement for OCWA to have contingencies for biosolid disposal.

The motion to approve the contract was unanimously carried during the committee meeting and will go to council on Tuesday, April 26.

The contract structure is “cost recovery” for the majority of the services/products provided and a fixed annual fee for OCWA’s Management cost. For the “cost recovery” items OCWA provides an estimate for the annual operations cost to the County the prior year for budgeting and at the end of the operating year the estimate is reconciled with the actual cost for the items. 

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