Disaster Relief Funding & Updates

Passing of Jamie Smith, Deputy Mayor

Deputy Mayor Jamie Smith died Tuesday August 1st of heart complications.  Jamie had a wonderfully dry sense of humour and a sharp intellect that kept council on our toes.  He was fair in his decisions and uncluttered in his thinking.  He was very involved with the Collingwood pipeline negotiations and was concerned with getting a fair deal for New Tecumseth.  Jamie has been on council since 2004.  The flags have been lowered to half-mast throughout the town in his honour.
See article here – Simcoe.com: New Tecumseth deputy mayor Jamie Smith has died


Shira and daughter Tay paddling for a cause.
Paddling for a cause. My daughter and I joined fellow councillors in raising funds for Abilities in Motion by paddling at Earl Rowe Reservoir. Abilities in Motion offers paddling opportunities for people of all levels of experience and abilities with adaptive options.

Disaster Recovery Assistance Program activated in New Tecumseth

New Tecumseth residents who were impacted by the heavy rainfall on June 23 can now seek funding assistance from the Provincial government.

Following the storm, the Town reached out to the Province of Ontario seeking access to funding to help our residents who experienced damage to their private property. Data was gathered and submitted to the Province who then sent an assessment team to New Tecumseth.

Today, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has advised that its Disaster Recovery Assistance program has now been activated in New Tecumseth.

“Many of our residents experienced damage to their homes due to the rain. We are pleased that they will now have the ability to apply for provincial funding to assist with the costs of repairs and clean up,” said New Tecumseth Mayor Rick Milne.

Affected individuals, small businesses, farmers and not-for-profit organizations who have experienced property damage or loss as a result of this disaster may be eligible to receive help with emergency and recovery expenses.

The program applies to a primary residence and its basic contents, or a main small business, farm or not-for-profit organization premise.

The government is closely monitoring other areas experiencing flooding across the province. It may activate the program in these areas as flood impacts continue to be assessed in the coming days and weeks.

More information and detailed program guidelines are available at ontario.ca/DisasterAssistance or call toll-free 1-844-780-8925.


Terra Rock

The work on the 2nd Line at the old cement factory has been underway for more than a month. The sudden appearance of dump trucks and construction vehicles was very unsettling for nearby residents. Once the town was alerted to the work that was happening, staff was quick to connect with the owner and bring them into compliance.

The owner of the property has been unable to lease the property to a suitable tenant for many years for various reasons. The current lessee is planning to store trailers on the site and is interested in beginning ASAP. The work that is being undertaken is to expand the size of the parking lot. The owner has since applied for permission and is required to supply the following to the town for a proposed Site Expansion:
Site Plan; Grading Plan; Servicing Plan; Photometric Plan (if additional lighting is proposed); Erosion and Sediment Control Plan; Tree Inventory and Preservation Plan; Detail Drawings and Notes; Stormwater Management Report; Traffic Brief. The brief should compare the proposed traffic patterns and volumes against the previously accepted reports (2013), and demonstrate that the existing Brief is sufficient, or an updated Traffic Brief should be prepared; Acoustical Report; and Arborist Report.

The owner has committed to providing these reports and in the meantime is determined to finish the work in order to satisfy the lessee.

I met with the owner, the new lessee and Town staff to discuss the situation and how to best resolve the issues that have been created. If you have concerns that the proponent is breaking the noise by-laws, please call the By-Law department. They are on call 24/7. Allowable hours for construction are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

The application will come to the Committee of Adjustment for a Minor Variance on August 24th. The public is welcome to speak to the application at this meeting.


Tottenham Airport (TAC) Update

The rehabilitation of private homes and streams that have been affected by the TAC works was supposed to begin in June but was delayed because of the rainy weather. This work has now begun but has not yet been completed.

It was brought to my attention by a resident that the number of trucks entering the site each day seemed more than the allowable amount. He asked if we could install truck counters. I brought this suggestion forward to the CAO and staff worked with the MTO (Ministry of Transportation) to get permission to install the counters on MTO property. The Town was instructed by the MTO to use a video system to count the number of trucks entering the site. These numbers will be manually counted (by the company contracted to undertake the video counting) and compared with the truck counts that are reported monthly. This will both ensure that TAC complies with the Site Plan agreement and that the money we receive for each truck is an accurate reflection of the real numbers.

The auditing of the monthly testing reports by WSP often take months to come to the public. This is because WSP catches discrepancies and resolving the discrepancies can take time going back and forth between WSP and TAC. This is exactly the detailed review of the reports from TAC that were not being done prior and are now in place to prevent non-compliance. The kind of discrepancies that occur vary but they include things like number of soil audits not being correct.

The soil that had detectable amounts of PCB’s has since been removed from the site. Our contract clearly stated no PCB material was allowable, however TAC tried to argue that since the amounts were so small and the soil still fell under the Table 2 guidelines, it should be allowable. The town stood strong and the material was removed.

TAC has stated that they would be looking to reduce the height of the second runway and amend the Site Plan as the amount of material they had planned to bring cannot be done within the timeframe of the contract and that they don’t feel that council would extend their contract. They got that right! This is good news at it means that the frustration and dislike we have with this project has gotten through to them and has put an end in sight.

If you have any interesting news or a business you would like to let Ward 7 residents know about, email me info@shiraward7.ca