Signs of Progress: Roads, Plans, Budgets and Signs

Desert Lake Causeway

After years of promises and consultations, progress has been made on redeveloping the Desert Lake Causeway. The new culverts are in and the road bed is wider. The new boat ramp, while not yet fully usable, looks much safer with the concrete mesh base. It is already a significant improvement. The work will be finished next spring with a separation between the beach and the road way, parking spaces, hard top and a dock by the boat ramp.

The agreement on Council was that the culverts would not permit boat access between Desert Lake and Holleford Lake. At this falls low water level, it was possible to get a canoe through the culverts, though it is tight. With normal summer conditions this would be a difficult, if not impossible, maneuver.

New Official Plan

The community process to write the Township’s new official plan is truly underway.

Close to 100 people came to the Storrington Lions Hall and a further 60+ came to the Sydenham library to learn about the new official plan process and give their initial input. At both meetings people were attentive, asked staff lots of questions, and participated in the opinion gathering exercises.

There were many comments on a wide range of topics. Staff will collate all these, plus information from the online survey, and consider them in their background work on a new official plan.

A casual glance through the responses at the meetings showed two issues that attracted a lot of attention. A desire to protect and improve our water, lakes, wetland and the environment was on many participants minds. Second, focusing growth on hamlets also had broad support.

There will be more opportunities for those who missed stage one to have their say. And everyone will have more opportunities to comment on the concrete proposals as they become available. It will take the better part of two years to complete the process. If you want to be on the contact list for updates please send me a note or contact the planning department.

Repaired Roads

Last winters the many freeze-thaw cycles caused parts of some roads to disintegrate. To address this need about six hundred thousand dollars for urgent repairs and upgrades was added to last summers road work. Murvale Road has been rebuilt and sections of Holleford Road have had major repairs. Thank you for your patience and thank you to those users of other roads where work was delayed by a year to facilitate this urgent work. The last major repair resulting from last winter is the rebuilding of North Shore Road which will happen next summer.

Draft 2020 Budget

The draft Township budget for 2020 has been posted.

Council asked Staff to prepare a budget with a 2% increase over 2019: this draft achieves that goal. Now we have to see what that means in terms of service delivery. That is the work for the next month.

On Tuesday November 5 at 7 pm, there is Council meeting specifically to hear from the public their comments on the draft budget. What should be left in, what should be taken out, and what is missing. If you would like to speak at the meeting please contact the Township Clerk, Angela Maddocks, 613-376-3027. You can also pass along your comments in writing.

Council is debating the full budget at a special meeting on Thursday, November 9 from 9 – 2 in the Council chambers. This meeting is open to the public. Please pass on any thoughts you have; I would be happy to enter them into the debates.

Progress on Signs?

Many people have commented on the “mess”, the “unsightly chaos”, and the “blight on our environment” – take your pick -caused the many signs on Township roads that are fallen over, grown over, tacked to trees, put on Township road signs or simply littering our ditches.

Staff have been asked to report back to the Development Services Committee on how to deal with the mess. The report is expected early in the new year.
Some of the signs advertise directions to events and family parties. Some advertise local businesses and community happenings, all of which seem helpful: though they also can be very unsightly.

If you have comments on a signs-on-public-roads policy, please comment. Do we ban them? Or, are their regulations that could control the clutter and permit the transfer of community information.

About Ross Sutherland

retired nurse, researcher, public health care activist.
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