Study will determine town’s future servicing needs, say staff
By Chris Simon Innisfil Scope August 25 2010
Innisfil needs a Master Servicing Study, to determine the best way to spend long-term infrastructure dollars, according to one of the town’s leading engineers.
Jim Zimmerman, town engineer and director of infrastructure, says a study would help town planners and politicians think ‘big picture’ when allocating funding for water, wastewater, transportation, utilities and hydroelectricity projects.
So, council has agreed to combine $360,000 in funding — which would have been allocated towards for four environmental assessments and two studies for the Innisfil Heights and Big Bay Point areas — into the first phase of a town-wide master plan. The first phase will determine the long-term needs for water and wastewater within the municipality, specifically in proposed growth areas like Alcona North and South, Lefroy, the 6th Line hospital campus site, Cookstown, Big Bay Point and Innisfil Heights.
“The greatest benefit to the town is that the municipality would then have a big picture plan to address municipal water and wastewater servicing,” said Zimmerman. “The town would then be in a better position to ensure that the infrastructure being planned and installed has been sized for the town’s (proposed) growth, and not just the specific needs of a particular development.”
The plan will also help staff and council make wise fiscal planning decisions, he said.
“The town should be considering the long-term maintenance, operating and replacement costs associated with infrastructure,” said Zimmerman. “The study would be one more tool to assist administration with the development of the fiscal management plan for the town. With the full picture in place, the town would be able to make better servicing decisions in a consistent manner. This study will attempt to define priorities and things to look at. It’s going to to a lot of consolidation of EAs we would otherwise be embarking on.”
Councillor Lynn Dollin says the study will be beneficial to the municipality.
“I appreciate the concept, and think this is where we need to go,” she said. “This is something we should have done a long time ago. It will prevent us from wasting money.”
The next phase of the study, which would look at longterm stormwater management plans, could receive funding through the 2011 budget process, said Zimmerman.