By Terry Heffernan, Special to the Times-Advocate
LUCAN BIDDULPH — It seems the squeaky wheel does get the grease.
Concerned with delays from the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) on an application to expand capacity at the Lucan Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Lucan Biddulph learned approval of the application could finally be coming.
Council applied to the MOE to expand the capacity of the STP to allow for new development that was on the horizon in Lucan. The application was submitted more than a year ago and over the ensuing months council saw what appeared to be no movement to approve the application.
At a recent meeting of council, it was suggested the municipality “get squeaky” to get the approvals and get on with development of new housing in the town. Lack of those necessary documents has been a stumbling block for Lucan Biddulph’s development plans as approval of starting to build new homes are contingent on expanded capacity at the STP.
During its Oct. 15 meeting, council received good news about the application. During discussion it was pointed out that because of the scope of the application, it was sent on from the MOE London office to Toronto and that is where the process became bogged down. Staff shortage was named as one of the reasons for the delay, but that didn’t impress council, which said that was not an acceptable reason.
Chief administrative officer Ron Reymer and works manager Adam Sobanski then told councillors that the application had been returned to London and was under review. Reymer said he was concerned the request had been taken from the London office, where staff was aware of the details of the application, and forwarded on to Toronto, where staff was unfamiliar with details.
Reymer said the application was simply a paper approval because they had the necessary capacity already built into the system and required no additions to the STP. Sobanski said the application “was lost in the shuffle” but it has been found and he expected a decision in the next few weeks.
He added that the decision would likely be a positive one. Sobanski added that the approval had nothing to do with the two-year study of the waterway where the treated water flows, which is done to see if there are any negative environmental effects to the waterway from the increase to the effluent that flows into the area water system.
Council expressed a hope that the approvals would be in the municipality’s hands for its next meeting.