We had a long meeting last night with only a few items on the agenda but much discussion.

To start it all off, we received three delegations. The first two were more planning related: An Official Plan (OP) Amendment for floodplain mapping done by ORCA and the County on Stoney, Clear and Katchewanooka (and others not in DD) and a meeting under the Planning Act to rezone an island property which will be demolishing and reconstructing a dwelling.

The third delegation was from residents on County Road 32 (River Road) who expressed concerns about a park area that has become a dumping grounds for garbage and home to camping. Ownership of the land is questionable at this point and as a result, we can’t take any immediate corrective action. There’s a section that is owned by Parks Canada, possibly a section that is privately owned, possibly the County and possibly DD. It’s in our municipality but it may not be our land. I raised a motion that was passed that asked staff to clean the site once, in hopes that it will be able to remain clean while more work is done to determine what governing body is actually responsible. Staff are to report back on the ownership.

Other decisions we made:

  • Council agreed to list the former Donwood Community Centre Property for $124,900
  • We agreed to partner with the ATV club to have them post signs around Mill Line Road where riders are contravening the by-law
  • Council received a report about Gravel Crushing that occurred in 2017. It seems that after being reassured by staff that it met MTO specs and was being tested, it wasn’t. Further, the way that the Tender was issued and contract negotiated with the provider, we have no recourse. Needless to say, we were all very disappointed with this news but we have been reassured that the new contract ensures that testing is being done (and it hasn’t met spec yet – more on that).
  • Steps were taken to reestablish a Police Services Board
  • We will be working with Peterborough Green-Up to do some beautification, naturalization park work around Warsaw, leveraging some funding. It will be the first project undertaken by Green-Up that is not in the City of Peterborough.
  • Council quashed a motion to invest in a sign program spearheaded by Peterborough Kawarthas Tourism. It was a $12,500 request that would see new branded signs throughtout the County helping people get to points of interest. I did not support the expense because there are a number of similar tourism sign programs that have been launched and then abandoned… those blue Ontario Tourism signs, the brown and white directional signs. The signs quickly become an eyesore if not maintained and there are better ways to invest the money in our community.
  • Council appointed four people to sit on a County Streamlining and Efficiencies Committee
  • A motion was also made to remove the charity clothing bin from the Warsaw Community Centre – the operators are not maintaining it and it’s looking like a junk yard.

Then we talked about roads.

Clearly this is an important matter to all of Council and rightfully we spent a good amount of time on it. The CAO submitted a report that came out of a meeting we had on August 8th about roads. This report is basically our action plan on going forward. Some big decisions were made.

  • The Douglas Road construction project scheduled to take place in 2019 has been put on hold to free-up resources to do other township-wide road maintenance work
  • Staff have been asked to revise the long-term road maintenance plan to take into consideration the new maintenance standards we’ve adopted
  • We are changing the amount and frequency of our gravel program. Basically instead of doing 6″ every 10 years, we’re going to do 3″ every 5 years.
  • Council agreed that we should not be ‘downgrading’ roads from surface treated to gravel based on traffic. Therefore any roads that are surface treated currently will remain so. Staff will be bringing back a policy that will look at upgrading our roads to surface treated… not right away but it’s on their radar to roll out over time.
  • There will be a new public works position created in the 2020 budget to provide the resources needed for the increased maintenance.

There’s lots more in the report in terms of exactly what work they are going to do. As well, there will be a Mayor’s Action Committee established that is comprised of residents who will help us prioritize the needed work. A public meeting will be held, seemingly in October, to report back to the residents the work that has taken place and the steps that will be taken in the future.