Housing Services asks Township to set aside vacant land

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At the regularly scheduled Council meeting on July 11 – the only one officially scheduled meeting for the month of July – Housing Services Manager Lisa Smith from the Cornwall SD&G Human Services Department made a presentation regarding some vacant Chesterville land. The land is located at 24 Industrial Drive, adjacent to the Canadian Pacific Railway line on Chesterville’s eastern edge. The land is not currently serviced by water and sewer but could easily be hooked up. 

The property outlined in blue is currently owned by the Township. Council has been asked to set it aside for affordable housing.

The presentation from Lisa was well-received. She explained the success of other projects, including City of Cornwall housing projects that provide much-needed affordable housing during a time when housing prices are exorbitant. Mayor Fraser, who is also the Warden for the United Counties of SD&G, commented on having recently visited a completed housing project in Cornwall and being impressed. A few questions were efficiently asked and answered. 

Other routine Council business

Another delegation, this time from the SD&G OPP, provided an update on policing in the area, including the fact that each municipality in SD&G will now have a specific officer assigned to it for members of the public to reach out to as needed. Sgt Alicia Burtch will be the officer assigned to North Dundas. She introduced herself briefly to Council, explaining that she has nearly 22 years of experience as an OPP officer, first being assigned to the Morrisburg detachment in 2002. Originally hailing from Winchester, Sgt Burtch is happy to be back serving in North Dundas. 

A further update from the OPP revealed that there has been a significant increase in property crimes lately. In particular, there has been an increase in “mischief”, which is often a youth crime. The Mayor pointed out that these crimes are not a risk to safety, but they do impact the community. A plan to increase patrols is in place. 

Later in the meeting, yet another housing related presentation took place, this time presented by CAO Angela Rutley in relation to a previous presentation from Habitat for Humanity in April. Several potential and available North Dundas lots were discussed. 

After a closed session, Council then dealt with some housekeeping business, such as reports on Township staff compensation and internal incident reporting procedures. Decisions on things such as municipal drains were made. Parking enforcement signs in the vicinity of Winchester Public School were discussed to bring public attention to the time limits in specified areas for the pick up and drop off of children. Issues with wrong way traffic on the one way streets in that area surrounding the school were also discussed. 

Council was asked to consider a noise exemption for the night of the Farmer John Summer Party planned for July 29. The annual party has been a popular and historically wild party held just outside Chesterville town limits for the past 25 years. The request before Council was to exempt the party from noise by-laws until 3am, which pushes the limit further than previous requests of 2am. Councillor Annable spoke up against the request, stating that it does not make sense to have noise by-laws if people can “skirt around them”. Councillor Lennox spoke up as well, citing the negative history of some of the goings on at the event as his reason for not supporting the request. Council unanimously voted to deny the request. The party can proceed, but practically only until 11pm due to noise by-laws. 

The final major item of discussion was the cost of water and sewer upgrades. With development and growth happening, water and sewer upgrades are routinely needed in both Winchester and Chesterville. The costs of this are enormous, and Council was tasked with determining who should pay for the upgrades. Many options were presented, with the basis for the discussion being whether developers should pay all related system upgrade costs, or whether this may risk scaring developers away from the area. Township staff will put together recommendations based on discussions with developers. 

The July 11 meeting wrapped up after just over 2.5 hours. 

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