Residents of Meadowvale Park vote Monday night to decide if its community council should spend money on sewer upgrades, but some say there are mixed messages surrounding a plan to connect them to Charlottetown's sewer system.
They are questioning the vote after Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee said Thursday he wouldn't allow the 112 homes in the Miltonvale Park community mobile home subdivision to hook into the city's sewer system unless a $24 million upgrade to the city's sewage treatment plant comes first.
Meadowvale Park's current sewer system has been declared an environmental hazard by the province. Three levels of government have offered to pitch in to help hook the area up to Charlottetown's sewer system. But Minister of National Revenue Gail Shea said there is no money available for the Charlottetown treatment plant expansion.
"Currently all the infrastructure funds are expended for the province of Prince Edward Island because of all the priorities that have been put forward by the province and all the projects that have been funded," said Shea. "That's not to say that in the future there won't be other infrastructure programs."
However, Miltonvale council has said it has a bargaining chip. It won't let Charlottetown put in an agreed-upon well field in the area that would provide a new water source to the city, which is struggling to keep up with demand.
"We're going to provide them with a well field in our community. And I don't know if anybody else in Prince Edward Island has noticed, but there's been an awful lot of buildings being built in Charlottetown," said Hal Parker, chair of Miltonvale's planning board.
"So when they run out of water? Who knows? I would suspect very shortly."
A city hall resolution dated March 14 that shows Charlottetown council unanimously approved Miltonvale Park's application to extend its sewer to the community. Parker said it makes Lee's comments all the more baffling.
"We have a document here from his staff that says all is good and we can proceed in this year to hook up to water and sewer. We have council resolution attached to that and we've done everything in good faith as far as I know," said Parker.
The park owners have asked residents to pay an extra $70 a month to bring the sewer system up to regulation.
But Miltonvale council said Monday's vote is not to approve that spending, but to approve investment in new sewer and water developments in the area.
Subdivision resident Andrew Want said the vote should be postponed until the facts are clear.
"Within 16 days we're asked to make a decision and vote and we really don't have all the information we need to make an informed choice," said Want.
The vote takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Winsloe Lion's Club.