(BlackburnNews.com photo)

OPG May Delay Further Payments to Bruce Municipalities

Municipal councils in Bruce County are being warned by Ontario Power Generation they may not receive hosting payments next year for the proposed deep geologic repository.

OPG has written to councils included in the hosting agreement, informing them the money they receive each year as part of the hosting agreement will be deferred if a license to begin constructing the DGR is not granted by the end of 2015.

The OPG hosting agreement annually pays $650,000 to Kincardine; $250,000 to Saugeen Shores; $70,000 to Huron-Kinloss; and $40,000 each to Arran-Elderslie and Brockton, but the payments can be deferred and held in trust should a milestone in the project be missed.

OPG is recommending those municipal councils budget for 2015 under the assumption they will not be receiving their annual payment.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Mike Smith says they have always earmarked the OPG funds specifically for capital projects.

“We’ve always put it into capital [projects], so its been a┬ácontribution to capital. It’s not $250,000 that will directly affect the operations, but it’s $250,000 that we don’t have to put against capital, we’ve got to find that somewhere else,” says Smith.

Smith adds it would not be the first time Saugeen Shores lost out on funds related to the nuclear industry, pointing out they used to receive impact grants of upwards of $1-million per year from OPG’s predecessor, Ontario Hydro, but those payments were stopped around the time of amalgamation.

The Joint Review Panel is currently reviewing evidence following the second round of public hearings into OPG’s proposal to bury low-and-intermediate level nuclear waste nearly 700 metres below the Bruce nuclear site.