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The Independent September 4, 2013 : Page 1

New, independent paper in Petrolia area Premier Edition Thursday, September 5, 2013 The Independent Staff The Independent staff, Publisher-Editor Heather Wright, Sales and Marketing Representative Connie McFadden and Classified Representative Kathy Ehman, in the paper’s office at 4156 Petrolia Line. People in Petrolia and Central Lambton get a chance to see what all the buzz is about today. The Independent, a new community weekly newspaper, is being delivered by Canada Post to 3,200 homes in the Petrolia area. People in Plympton-Wyoming, Oil Springs, Brigden and Dawn-Euphemia will be able to pick up their free copy at local businesses. The Independent will also be found on the web at www. petrolialambtonindependent.ca. Publisher-Editor Heather Wright – a journalist with 25 years experience and a resident of Petrolia and Central Lambton for the past 17 years -is the driving force behind the new paper. But Wright says it has truly been a community effort. “From the moment I started approaching people with my idea for a truly local community paper focusing on telling the stories of the people of this area, they were very excited and asked what they could do to make The Independent a reality.” In a time when the newspaper industry seems to be struggling, Wright believes there is still a need for a strong, local newspaper. “You can search the internet for just about anything but it is difficult to find what is going on next door,” she says. “There are still lots of stories to be told around here, but, for whatever reason – whether it is lack of staff or concern for the bottom line – those stories aren’t being told.” And that, Wright says, has long-term implications including the history of the community being lost. “If all you can find in the local paper is stories about other cities or entertainment news, in 100 years, how will people know what Petrolia and Central Lambton was really like?” Sales and Marketing Representative Connie McFadden agrees. “A community with this much history deserves its history to be told.” McFadden, who has worked in newspaper for 33 years, adds she is proud to have a newspaper with a local face. Kathy Ehman, Classified Representative, who has worked in all facets of community newspaper on the East and West Coasts of Canada, is pleased to come home and find the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new community newspaper. “I believe community newspapers are extremely important to the community and I’m very excited to be a part of The Independent.” Enniskillen council weighs water options with LAWSS Heather Wright The Independent Enniskillen Township is taking a hard look at where it gets its water. Since the 1990s, Enniskillen has purchased water from Petrolia. It is in the last three years of the current agreement. So when the Lambton Area Water Supply System called Enniskillen when it was updating its master plan, the issue of water supply came up. According to Enniskillen Mayor Kevin Marriott, LAWSS has offered to provide water to the community for $1.13 per cubic meter with only inflation rate increases for the next 20 years. Currently, Enniskillen residents pay $1.59 per cubic meter from Petrolia. “You can see where there are still substantial savings,” Marriott told council. While the water rates would fall, the municipality would face some increased capital costs to connect to LAWSS pipelines. But the difference in water rates, about $309,000 a year in Kevin Marriott savings for Enniskillen residents, was enough to make township politicians investigate further. Marriott and Mayor John McCharles met to negotiate what Petrolia could offer. After some talk, the town agreed to offer Enniskillen a 20 year deal with water rates at $1.46 per cubic meter in the first two years, $1.60 in the next two years, $1.70 for another two years and then $1.90 per cubic meter for five more years. After that, the rates would fluctuate. But Enniskillen Councilor John Phair worries what comes in the second half of the Petrolia agreement. “We’d be kind of locked into the last 10 years and they could charge us anything they want,” he says. Manny Baron, CAO of Petrolia, says the town wants to continue supplying Enniskillen’s water and it is open to further negotiations. Enniskillen is Petrolia’s biggest water customer with sales of around $1.06 million a year, according to figures provided by the township and town. “We never want to lose them because they are partners and neighbours and have been for many years,” says Baron. “At the end of the day its about keep and being good neighbours.” Baron confirms LAWSS also approached Petrolia about its interest in becoming part of the regional water system. Once the conversation with Enniskillen began, “We then felt it would be a good idea to talk to Petrolia,” says Susan McFarlane, LAWSS general manager. “We see where there could be some economies of scale.” But Petrolia was not interested. “Our water is as good as it gets and were proud of that,” says Baron. “So there is no reason to move to another distributor.” But he doesn’t fault Enniskillen for investigating the options saying the municipal leaders are doing “their due diligence.” Enniskillen will decide in the coming weeks whether to pay $10,000 for a consultant’s study to show how any connections between LAWSS water lines and the townships existing pipelines could be made. That report is mandatory before LAWSS continues investigating the project. WANT TO WIN Of course you do. AN iPAD? MacFarlane LIKE us on FACEBOOK and you will be entered into a draw to WIN an IPAD... draw date will occur once we reach 1500 likes. Recommend to your friends and family as the sooner we get 1500 likes the sooner the draw at MacFarlane Chevrolet Buick GMC will occur for an IPAD www.macfarlanechev.com 4219 Oil Heritage Road • Petrolia • 519-882-1090

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