Collingwood, New Tecumseth agree to move forward with WTP expansion

cost sharing agreement
Pictured left to right: Town of Collingwood CAO Sonya Skinner, Kenaidan Contracting Limited President John Goffredo, Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin, New Tecumseth Mayor Richard Norcross, Kenaidan Contracting Limited Canada Vice President of Project Development, Jesse House. Photo Credit: Town of Collingwood

Despite the escalation of costs associated with expanding the Raymond A. Barker Water Treatment Plant in the Town of Collingwood, Ontario, local officials have now finalized a partnership and water sharing agreement with the Town of New Tecumseth, where drinking water is piped south from Collingwood.

Both councils announced that they would be proceeding with the low-bid tender from Kenaiden Contracting Ltd., which is close to expiration. That bid, made in fall 2023, led to joint statements of concern from councils when it came in about $150 million higher than anticipated. 

Additionally, the timeline to complete the water plant expansion has also been extended by about two years, potentially beyond 2028. 

“This is an essential and urgent project for Collingwood, New Tecumseth, and the surrounding area,” the communities announced in a joint statement on April 11. “Without this plant expansion, we will not be able to build new homes to meet provincial housing targets or support job creation with commercial and industrial growth.”

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Under the new water sharing agreement, New Tecumseth will cover 63% of the costs to expand the Raymond A. Barker Water Treatment Plant with the understanding that  250 m³ will be made available to New Tecumseth for immediate allocation. A further supply of 150 m³ of Collingwood’s remaining capacity would be made available within the following 12 months, with quantities subject only to the technical capabilities of the plant.

The pipeline, which connects to a local reservoir, essentially began to support the construction of the sprawling Honda auto manufacturing plant expansion in Alliston, Ontario. Water requirements are only set to increase now that Honda will spend an estimated $11 billion to expand its Alliston manufacturing operations to supply and build electric vehicles, as announced by the Japanese company in April 2024. 

Collingwood and New Tecumseth officials also announced that they will participate in a discussion about  an interim water solution after a review by AECOM is completed by October 2024. 

New Tecumseth, which is engaged in a wells optimization project, could potentially return some drinking water to Collingwood depending on a series of factors. 

Both councils said they would “continue to actively pursue” an expectation of government funding through infrastructure programs to assist with this partnership of capital investment.

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