At Council on Monday April 25th, Council decided to proceed with a Site Plan Agreement with TAC (Tottenham Airfield Corporation). Until now we have not had a site plan agreement and this agreement between the Town and TAC will change this. TAC was operating with some oversight from the MOECC (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change).
When I joined council, the belief was that the MOECC oversight was sufficient and that it is better to have them handling the oversight or audit of the soil quality as they were more qualified. I pushed for and successfully got soil experts hired to do a full audit of the airports documentation and testing protocol and our expert consultants came back with many recommendations for improvement. These improvements for testing, monitoring and operation have been integrated into the site agreement with TAC.
The new agreement includes a cost of 50 cents per load, strategically placed monitoring wells, and set parameters on the type of allowable soil as well as many other things. We will now have test wells to monitor the water quality on a ongoing basis. The consultants (which TAC will reimburse us for), helped to draft the agreement. They also did a preliminary review of the current site and TAC’s testing protocol. As your Councillor, I believe that this agreement goes a long way to control the site to the extent that we can control it. Now we will have a dedicated staff member who will visit the site regularly. I see this as the beginning of the oversight. You will need to continue to notify the town of dust issues, breaches of the hours of operation and any other concerns. I also encourage you to continue to lobby the Federal government to look at this site and their rules/loophole around airports. The good news is that the Province is coordinating the review of the four provincial lands use plans- the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan. Comments from the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority and other Conservation Authorities included asking the province to change from having “Excess Soil Guidelines” to enforcement and raising the fines for breaches.
Construction updates for Ward 7
- The 15th Sideorad work is set to begin next week and must be completed by August 26,2016.
- The 3rd line will be rebuilt with underground services being installed. The work is happening between Tottenham Road and a new road from the new subdivision. There will be a by-pass through the new subdivision. The timeline for completion is November 1 2016 but this could finish sooner as things are progressing well.
- The 4th Line between the 10th Sideroad and the new subdivison will have bridge work happening and will open prior to Labour Day.
- You have asked for the speed limit on the 4th to be lowered between the 10th Sideroad and the new subdivison and we have lowered it to 60 km/h.
- You may have noticed that Penville is now a community safety zone. Protecting the safety of the residents who reside in the hamlets and communities throughout rural New Tecumseth is a priority for me.
Because you Asked:
The Town performs 2 types of maintenance on gravel roads:
- The first is a gravel program which involves an evaluation of the gravel surfaces to identify any areas which have had winter break up, frost boils, aggregate loss through use, profile adjustments to improve drainage and gravel distribution. The Town utilizes ‘M’ class gravel as a surface course on the road sections as this gravel has higher quantities of the mid-grade to fine stone within that provides better compaction. The gravel is applied to road surfaces when required and not as a standard annual supply. The application of gravel is done with the use of water to reduce the amount of dust from spreading the material.
The gravel application is then followed by the application of dust suppressant (35% Calcium Chloride – brine solution) which is a “salt” brine solution and additional water. The Calcium Chloride salt brine and water is worked into the surface of the gravel which due to its water loving (hygroscopic) properties, keeps pulling moisture from the air and reduces dust. The Calcium Chloride used is commonly used in food processing such a pickles and preservatives. Since the Calcium Chloride is applied in diluted solution and not in pure flake form the possibility of external burns or esophageal burns from traveling on a gravel road have not been identified in the manufactures safety data sheets.
- The second component of gravel maintenance is general grading as required. This grading is performed by applying water on the road to reduce dust and aggregate loss and then reshaping the surface to remove potholes, it is performed in the same capacity as pot hole patching on asphalt roads. This portion is performed on an as needed basis through defined road patrols.
The current average cost for maintenance for a gravel road is $3,570.31 per Km per year this is inclusive of the cost associated with the application of gravel, calcium chloride and the ongoing grading. To pave a section of road like the 2nd Line between the 15th Sideroad and 20th Sideroad (4.4km) would be $1,100,000.
The current council has made it a priority to fix our roads and keep taxes down. This means making choices about the other ways our money has been spent in the past and looking to reduce costs where we can. There has been some criticism of late that council isn’t supporting the different community groups or spending money ($40,000) we haven’t budgeted for to hire consultants to do a ward boundary review. The application process for grants and donations was changed so that it is transparent and accountable. We wanted to move away from the old system that saw people coming to the podium to ask for money and create a fair process instead. There was a ward review conducted in 2009. We will do the review after the 2018 election and it will be budgeted for according to the town policy.
Good news – Simcoe County is a member of the Southwestern Ontario Integrated Fibre Technology Network project (SWIFT) project which has just received funding from the Provincial and Federal governments. SWIFT will create an extensive fibre network that connects the entire region with service ranging from 1 Gbps up to 100 Gbps, using a combination of public and private funding. I am looking into the timeline for this and will be advocating our behalf of Ward 7 to have our area prioritized.
Rural Postal Delivery
The suspension of rural mail delivery on the 10th Sideroad will continue until a change is made Federally. Staff have investigated and found out that everything is on hold with community boxes as Trudeau promised to bring back door to door delivery. We don’t have a time frame for any of this but they are not changing things now.