February 8 Town Hall Meeting Report

On February 8, 2020, Councillor Ruttan and I held a Town Hall in Perth Road Village to discuss any municipal issue of concern to residents. About 30 people attended and there was a lively discussion that filled the two hours.

The following are the short form notes on what we heard on topics raised by meeting participants. Immediate actions are to give this list to staff for their consideration and to send a letter to the Cataraqui Conservation Authority alerting them to safety concerns with the Wilmer Road boat ramp into Sydenham Lake. More follow-up on specific points discussed will be provided over the next few months.

Thank you to all who attended and participated.

TOWN HALL February 8, 2020, what we heard:

Official Plan
. accommodation of growth
. concern about becoming a township of “exurbs”
. maintaining sense of community
. get residents involved in this community where they live

Property Standards Bylaw
. compliance vs. lifestyle
. who decides?
. diverse opinions expressed
. guidelines vs. open ended
. structure township service
. reasonable – expense
. create positive community feeling
. use of volunteers to help people clean up property if owners agreeable
. Free drop off of “junk” at dumps if clean-up warranted
. education and enforcement
. Is there a number/agency to call to get help with property maintenance?

Septic Inspection
. lake vs. non-lake location
. regular maintenance is pumping every 5 years
. inspection program
. what if some issue is identified?
. rebate on taxes program to help with repairs
. do we know where all septic systems are located
. RFP for pumping tanks
. general agreement that something needs to be done to make sure septic systems are working properly and water resources are protected

Dumping Garbage on Private Property
. who is responsible for cleanup?
. dumping on township property
. possible township bin at Dean Smith and Leeland Road intersection. Is that piece of property Township owned?

Climate Crisis
. concern expressed that the Township is not doing enough
. suggested to work with Nature Conservancy of Canada,
. create parking lots to encourage shared commuter driving
. electric vehicles for township

Political Will
. how do we make sure the public will is heeded by politicians at all levels

High speed Internet
. still a problem, can anticipate increased access if grants applied for through the Eastern Ontario Regional network are obtained

Old Perth Rd Fire Hall Site
. what are the future plans for this site? Township has no immediate plans for selling. Possibility of housing was raised

Water Access to Sydenham Lake e.g. Canada Day
. limited access when the Sydenham ramp is closed
. need to engage the Conservation Authority to fix up the Wilmer road ramp. There is a damaged steel grate.
. Also, no access to Eel Bay for ice fishing huts and limited water access in summer.

. North Shore Road to be resurfaced
. Perth Road being used by commercial trucks – enforcement and/or limiting this use. Will this lead to widening of the road? Opposition expressed.
. Billy Green and Leeland require work
. Eel Bay Road just past Charlie Green is a terrible piece of road
. who approves new roads being bulldozed on private property which compromise the environment and species at risk

Old Scofield Camp
. What is happening? Would the Township consider buying? Is this a good idea?
. Questioned the inclusion of commercial clubs in zoning.

Communication with Township Roads Department
. a direct line to roads complaint desk rather going through the automated attendant

Seniors Housing and Transportation
. need more affordable housing, though Perth Road may not be the best place for seniors housing
. coordination of services for seniors
. need some sort of transportation service for those who cannot drive

About Ross Sutherland

retired nurse, researcher, public health care activist.
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