Orangeville, Amaranth in legal battle over Pullen Well ownership

December 21, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

Orangeville Council is doing all it can to take ownership of a never-used well in Amaranth that municipal staff believe is pivotal to meeting the town’s future water supply needs.

The Town has been trying to get  its hands on the Pullen Well, located across Veterans Way and drilled nearly 40 years ago, for years. Back in March, Orangeville’s previous council agreed to swap an undesignated portion of the Town’s Humber lands with developers for a 42.41 acre plot in Amaranth that houses the well. 

As staff sought to reach a deal with landowners Valleygrove Investments and Hamount Investments, Amaranth Township intervened, challenging the legality of the deal. The township believed the two developers, who had previously planned to build a residential subdivision at the site, required its consent to complete any land transfer with Orangeville. 

In a lengthy motion tabled during the inaugural meeting of Orangeville’s new council on Dec. 10, Coun. Todd Taylor indicated the developers would not need Amaranth’s consent to complete the deal if Orangeville acquired all of the developers’ land, rather than the 42.41 acres the town originally wanted. As such, the motion, which passed unanimously, calls on the Town to enter negotiations with the developers to acquire the entirety of the 196-acre parcel of land. 

The land in question shares no border  with Orangeville. Should a deal go through, the Town might look to annex the nearly 200-acre island into its boundaries. 

“This is a really significant motion,” Coun. Taylor told the Citizen following the Dec. 10 meeting. “Negotiations have been ongoing for more than a decade to connect the Pullen Well to the Town’s water supply. Our hope is that this motion will finally (secure the well).”

Orangeville Council requested legal counsel to provide direction as we move into the New Year. An emergency in-camera meeting was held yesterday (Dec. 19), with the agenda containing three items relating to the potential land transfer. 

The three items were listed as follows – litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board (litigation/Township of Amaranth), advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose (litigation/Township of Amaranth) and a position, plan, procedure, criteria or instruction to be applied to any negotiations carried on or to be carried on by or on behalf of the municipality or local board (litigation/Township of Amaranth).

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