As a result of the City of Woodstock taking the County to the Ontario Municipal Board over extending waste water services to the county works yard on the 11th line, Oxford is scaling back the project.
Because of the question around waste water, the County will not proceed with the construction of the vehicle wash bays that were to be added to the building. Construction will proceed on adding shop space, office space, an employee lunchroom and more storage space for long term storage for county records. If the OMB sides with Woodstock and does not allow the County to connect to the waste water system, then work could be carried out to increase the capacity of the septic system. If the Woodstock appeal is turned down, no expansion of the septic system would be necessary.
Walker Environmental has not given the County a firm answer on whether an epidemiologist study and report will be part of the final terms of reference around the proposed landfill in Centreville. Oxford County, Ingersoll and Southwest Oxford Councils all passed a similar bylaw requesting that Walker use the epidemiologist to look at the possible long term health effects from living near a dump, While Walker did not specifically say they would bring the scientist on board, they did say that they were exploring options to resolve the long term health concerns before the final terms of reference are submitted to the Environment Ministry.
Woodstock would still like the County to take the old Thomas Bus property off their hands. The City thinks that the County could use the site for their works yard. In return, the County would close the works yard on the 11th line. A concern around the condition of the soil on the site would not be a factor in this deal. The site soil is contaminated, and for many purposes would have to be cleaned up, which both the City and County say is a very expensive proposition. But, because of the fact there are similar industrial uses for the land, soil remediation would not be necessary. Council decided to receive the report as information, which in political terms means that the County is not interested in the land.
Oxford County is supporting Norwich Township when it comes to setting some rules and regulations around the proposed ProWind turbine complex on Gunn’s Hill Road. One of the biggest concerns raised by Norwich Mayor Don Doan is the amount of cement that will be poured into the ground to support the turbine towers. The turbines are free standing structures with no guide wires to support them, so the base will to go deep into the ground. Both Norwich and the County want assurances that once the life span of the towers is exhausted, that all of the cement be removed. Both levels of government also want numerous controls on roads and traffic around the site, full site decommissioning, emergency servicing and other issues to be clarified and dealt with before construction begins.
Industries, commercial and institutions that make a concerted effort to reduce the amount of water consumed and waste water put into the system will see those efforts rewarded. County Council has approved staff recommendation that will provide businesses with extra incentives to conserve water and lower the amount of waste water. Those bonuses will be on top of the savings that come from lower regular charges.