2017 Harvest

2017 Harvest

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Tribunal comments on Drainage Act principles

In an appeal decision concerning the Thorpe-Ellis Drain in South Dundas, Ontario (first constructed in 1891), the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Tribunal provided the following comment on Drainage Act projects and requirements for assessment reports:

As a general principle, projects constructed under the Act are on a user pay basis. A cost estimate is prepared for the project and then an Assessment Schedule is prepared to recover the cost of the project from the landowners affected by the project. The Tribunal notes that the Assessment Schedule in the Report does not provide the totals for each column in the schedule. These totals are essential to verify that the costs and the assessments balance, especially after appeals have been made that may alter the assessments. Sub totals for land assessments and road assessments are also useful in prorating the final cost of the project and to assist the drainage superintendent in the prorating of future maintenance costs. The Assessment Schedule also does not contain page numbers which are essential to ensure that the schedule is complete and that no pages are missing. It would also be helpful to have the column headings repeated at the top of each page.
In the specific case under appeal, the landowner making the appeal was successful in lowering his assessment by $130.  With his property affected by two municipal drains, the Appeal Tribunal found that as a matter of principle his property could not be assessed an amount that would represent more than 100% of his combined use of the two drains:
The only point in contention is the area of Mr. Barclay's land that outlets into the Thorpe-Ellis Drain. The difference in area determined by the various submissions amounts to a maximum of 3.4 acres (1.4 ha). While the Tribunal accepts that this difference is well within the normal accuracy for determination of drainage areas, the Tribunal also accepts the principle, that for surface drainage projects of this type, the area drained by the Ferguson Drain and the Thorpe-Ellis Drain must not exceed the total area of land owned by Mr. Barclay which is 245 acres (100 ha.). The Tribunal will order that Mr. Barclay's outlet assessments be reduced by $130.00 to account for this discrepancy. This amount will be added to the road assessment of the Municipality in the same manner as the other imbalances resulting from the Court of Revision decision.
Read the decision at: Thorpe Ellis Municipal Drain.