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Anne-notes-4-featBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

A full day for council and staff – more work on the Strategic Plan and an in camera meeting that included union issues and the disposition of the site of the former Scopis Restaurant.

  • Deputations showed the breadth and depth of community commitment in this city.

First up were Greg Fryer and John McLachlan from Habitat for Humanity. Grey Bruce had one of the first Habitat organizations in Canada, providing 35 safe affordable homes since 1987. Buyers pay no down payment or interest, but repay the cost of the home at a rate set at 25% of the family's gross income. Those funds are used to build future homes, and the net income from Habitat's three Grey-Bruce Re-Stores pays the administrative costs. Habitat has had generous supplies of materials, services and volunteers, and is particularly looking for land.

  • Councillors got a crash course in the work of the Community Foundation Grey Bruce from Executive Director Aly Boltman. The Foundation currently has $14.5 million in endowed funds – that is, donations which have been pooled and invested in perpetuity with the income – almost $600,000 last year alone – granted to local charities and non-profit groups.

ice-anne-regBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

This was an "other business" item at the end of a long council meeting and a very long day for council and staff, but it is at the top of the list for the more than 100 households and businesses who are without water today.

Director of Operations Ken Becking might just have the hardest job in the city right now, and Councillor O'Leary was the first to express the gratitude of all residents for the tireless work he and his staff are doing to deal with the unprecedented damage this deep freeze is doing to water services in Owen Sound.

On average the city experiences about 25 to 40 breaks a year. Until mid-February, it was business as usual. By the 21st it was evident that public works was unable to keep up with the frozen services, some in areas where there was no historic record of such occurrences.

tap-regThe City of Owen Sound Municipal Emergency Control Group has met and is asking all residents and businesses that have been contacted by written notice or by city staff to please leave their water running as instructed.

"It is critically important that you must run your water continuously 24/7 until further notice if you live in any of the identified areas, says Mayor Boddy. I confirm that residents and business will not suffer any financial hardship from the extra water consumption as the city will be using historical data for billing during this time. I ask that you please place a sign near your tap so it will not inadvertently be turned off.

If the connection to your home or business freezes it could be many days before service can be restored. We ask that you cooperate to help our community get through this challenge we are facing."

pipe-freeze-regThe Water Department continues to receive many reports of service lines freezing in locations where they have never frozen before. So in some areas of the City with shallow water mains, the City will ask residents to begin running water continuously, 24 hours a day. A list of some of the key areas follows:

-3rd Ave E from 17th St E to the Water Treatment Plant

-9th Ave E from 10th St to 20th St

-9th St E from 1st Ave E to 8th Ave

freeze-regOwen Sound - The City of Owen Sound Water Department has received many reports of water service lines freezing due to low temperatures, in locations where no water services have frozen before.

To prevent a frozen service line from occurring it is suggested that every night before retiring, homeowners should run one household tap fully open for approximately three to five minutes. If possible, repeat the flushing during the night. Any household with a history of freezing problems should definitely take these precautions.

Homeowners should know that substantially decreased water flow and pressure or dirty water in the home may be evidence that the water line is freezing. If this occurs, run one household tap fully open until the flow rate increases, and contact the Public Works department at 519-376-4274.

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