Enbridge locate fees plan panned by Broad, Lambton County

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Heather Wright/The Independent

Municipalities could be facing thousands of dollars in new fees if Enbridge Gas decides to charge for construction locates.

Dawn-Euphemia Mayor Al Broad first raised the alarm about the idea in April when he heard Enbridge was planning to charge $200 to locate gas lines – a service utility companies and municipalities normally do for free.

“It blows my mind, Enbridge uses our roads free of charge, going to charge us?
“It is ridiculous they are considering it.”

But Kelly Elliott of the Association of Road Supervisors, in a letter to Dawn-Euphemia’s public works manager says Enbridge officials told the association providing locates costs the company about $30 million a year “and therefore they are looking to recoup these costs through locate fees.”

When the issue was first raised, Enbridge officials told The Independent it had considered the move. “Enbridge Gas has made the decision to put the implementation of the locate delivery charge on pause. We are using this time to continue our industry consultations and will provide additional information once we have confirmed our approach.”

Elliott, in her email, says she met with Enbridge April 24 and they “have made it clear they are pursuing this charge. They are currently meeting with the provincial government on how they are going to move forward.”

Broad says Enbridge may find itself paying locate fees from the municipality if it moves ahead with the plan and in Dawn-Euphemia that will be expensive.

While Dawn-Euphemia would have to pay about $9,800 in locate fees, Enbridge would face fees of about $119,800 in Dawn-Euphemia as it expands its pipeline system.

Lambton’s General Manager of Infrastructure, Jason Cole, was “disturbed by the sudden move” adding “we don’t charge any road work permits. If we need to start reconsidering those options…we can look at those options, too.”