By Barb McKay
Kincardine, Huron-Kinloss and Arran-Elderslie have some work to do before they can form a municipal services corporation for the natural gas project.
Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer and Huron-Kinloss mayor Mitch Twolan told their respective councils last Wednesday that the municipalities will need to undertake a business study and hold a public meeting before the corporation can be formed. A section of the Municipal Act outlines several requirements the municipalities must meet in the business case study before they can incorporate.
“We were hoping by the end of August we’d have some kind of corporation,” Twolan said.
Now, a committee that includes Kraemer, Twolan, Arran-Elderslie mayor Paul Eagleson and executives from Bruce Telecom, must come up with a draft business case, which will be reviewed by a legal team. The draft will then be made available to the public for a 30-day review and comment period before a public meeting is held.
Kraemer said local industries and potential stakeholders will be invited to the public meeting and there will be ample opportunity for people to ask questions and become informed about the natural gas project.
The list of requirements for the business case is an extensive one. The committee must determine the projected financial implications for the next five years; outline objectives of the corporation; provide details of the governance structure including terms of office; and fulfill accountability requirements. Twolan said a good chunk of the work has already been completed. Earlier in the year, Bruce Telecom had hired Energy Fundamentals Group (EFG) and AMEC Environment and Infrastructure to analyze a project proposal by Union Gas and come up with a feasibility study, as well as their own proposal.
“The plan reconfirmed Union Gas’ business plan, so we think much of the work has already been done,” Twolan said.
During Kincardine’s council meeting, councillors agreed that the process is a necessary one.
“Having heard the list of requirements, it will satisfy a lot of people’s questions,” said councillor Ken Craig. I think it’s positive rather than onerous.”