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Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40727545

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Douro-Dummer answers questions

 

October 20, 2017

 

BY TERRY MCQUITTY

 

The floor was open for questions on August 24 as the Township of Douro-Dummer hosted a Town Hall style meeting. The idea was to invite ratepayers and have them ask council any questions that crossed their minds. Approximately 35 people attended the meeting and topics ranged from road maintenance to minor variances.

On Tuesday Douro-Dummer held a special meeting to go over some of the concerns raised at the Town Hall meeting. CAO David Clifford told council that some of the concerns raised have already been addressed. One such concern was a volunteer fireperson who was constantly speeding down a concession road. Clifford told council that the Fire Chief had been informed and the individual was reprimanded.

The biggest issue raised was road maintenance throughout the township, especially in the Spring. Deputy Mayor Karl Moher stated “People are no longer satisfied with the status quo” and asked if staff could come up with an alternate plan over the next month or so as ratepayers want to see a higher standard.

The general consensus with road work is that the municipality has to get ahead of things. The thought of buying or renting another grader was tossed around. Moher also suggested that the criteria needed to hardtop roads should also be reexamined.

Council asked staff if they could come up with a plan, but Public Works manager, Harold Nelson stated that there was a roads needs study being completed and it would be advisable to wait until it is published before too much time and effort is extended.

Moher suggested that they wait until they see the draft report, then possibly arrange a formal meeting or a road tour to address the roads problems.

Another hot topic was Shoreline development. Many in attendance at the Town Hall meeting wondered if there was anything that could be done to monitor shoreline development.

Clifford told council that this was a confusing issue as ORCA has controls from the high water mark in to shore while the TSW has authority from the high water mark out towards the water. The township has the right to create bylaws addressing development, but this can be an expensive process.

For instance the township can legislate how much of a waterfront can be developed and how much should be left natural. The expense comes if the form of staffing (an engineer would be required) and policing the properties.

Councillor Johnston said he would be willing to consider a percentage of developable shoreline, but was unsure what that percentage would be.

When asked if the majority of people were interested in legislating shoreline development, Clifford stated “I think we are dealing with the vocal minority”.

Moher stated that he didn’t think that the rural residents would be interested in this issue.

Councillor Johnston commented that the Town Hall meeting was well worth doing and the municipality should consider hosting an open meeting on an annual basis.