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Monday, July 18, 2011

Assessed landowners argued they could have done drainage work for less

Two Southwest Middlesex landowners appealed a drainage assessment to the Ontario Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Tribunal on the basis that they could have done the required maintenance work themselves at a lower cost.  The Municipality of Southwest Middlesex had been petitioned by the County of Middlesex Road Authority under Section 4 of the Drainage Act to carry out various maintenance work, including the creation of an open drain.  The estimated cost of the work was $22,540.

Two affected landowners appealed the assessment of their shares of this cost.  One argued that from the beginning he had told the Municipality that he was willing to do the work required without the cost of the engineering report.  However, neither landowner appealed the work ordered itself.  The Tribunal found that the Municipality was compelled by the County's petition to have an engineer's report prepared and the work completed.  Given that the work was required, the assessment of costs could not be challenged on the basis that the work was unnecessary (or could have been done differently at a lower cost).  The appeals were dismissed.

Read the decision at: Proctor Drain.