By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
Cobourg council has gotten on board with an appeal from the Association of Ontario Road Supervisors to object officially to a new Enbridge fee that could add tens of thousands of dollars to municipal costs each year.
The new fee would charge third-party contractors – which, at times, would be municipalities – $200 plus taxes for underground locates on projects where digging is involved. In Cobourg’s case, Director of Public Works Laurie Wills said, that would have meant more than $30,000 paid out last year.
“And we don’t charge. There’s no fee for utilities to do work within our road allowances. We don’t recover any costs from utilities, so that’s something to consider as well,” Wills noted.
“It would be a big expense to have imposed on municipalities, and private people as well.”
The AORS letter said that this is being done as a result of the year-old Getting Ontario Connected Act that effected changes in the Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification Act, following which Enbridge made significant investments.
The letter also said that no other utility company charges for locate services – and that instituting these charges could start a precedent, with these other utilities soon following suit.
The motion to support their efforts passed unanimously.