I would like to take this opportunity to enlighten readers on some issues brought forward in last week’s issue.
The dock in Morrisburg has fallen into a state of disrepair that now the township will need to address.
As stated in Don Taylor’s letter, he did alert me to the needs. Staff were to bring forward to council a report this year.
However, the dock did sustain further damage and needed to be closed. The township has hired a consultant and work has begun.
A report will hopefully be ready for our next council meeting next week. Council is also waiting for the Morrisburg Waterfront Committee’s report who will have their public consultation next week.
We were delaying any work on the dock until we had a report from the committee as it would make no sense to do major work and the committee come back with a different recommendation.
Hopefully, there will be some input into what type of repair we need to perform. Council and I are fully concerned with the issue and have been following up with staff in the hope of getting this issue dealt with. We will do our best to at least do something to have the dock in use as soon as practically possible.
There were also some concerns raised about the method council decides on where money is spent in the township. Council has always taken the position of spending in areas of the township that are in need. This will give the appearance that some areas are getting more than others.
Council looks at needs through the budget and throughout the year and invests or reinvests in our infrastructure to make sure it does not fall into disrepair. We do, however, miss things as the dock issue has shown us.
Road work within the villages is being delayed now as we are working on dealing with the sewer/storm water issues and there is a potential that streets will need to be worked on at that time. A report on that issue will be coming forth soon.
There is a limited amount of dollars available and we will continue to spend wisely. I do believe Morrisburg has had its fair share and with the refurbishing of the Old High School, Morrisburg will certainly become a new focal point in South Dundas.
I also would like to address the drainage issue brought forth by the Geertsmas.
The Drainage Act is a tool to be used by landowners in need of drainage. It is the municipality’s role to provide drainage by those who request it. All costs are borne by benefiting landowners.
A petition was brought forward by Jake Geertsma on behalf of landowners requesting the Barkley Drain be improved as the old report would not provide sufficient drainage.
Council, on receiving the petition, sent it to an engineer for validation and, if valid, a report. It is his role to make this determination which he would confirm at a site meeting.
At the meeting to consider the report, I asked him to confirm the validity of the petition as there were concerns raised. There was a letter sent to council confirming this.
As the costs became a concern, landowners decided not to proceed and withdrew from the petition. At this time, it became insufficient and the work would not proceed.
The Act clearly states that if a petition becomes insufficient, the original signatories become responsible for all costs incurred to date.
I do believe the Drainage Act is a good tool to provide drainage to those who need it. However, as it is a law, the rules need to be followed and from council’s role in this situation, they were.
Mayor, South Dundas