May 16 Council meeting packed heavy with municipal business

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On May 16, the regularly scheduled meeting of North Dundas Council was jam packed. The meeting began with three mandatory public meeting segments. One involved a proposal to amend some of the Township’s building permit fees. No comments or questions were received from members of the public or members of Council related to this proposal.

Another public meeting topic involved a request from the Wellings of Winchester development for a zoning amendment to allow the developer to build 50 new model homes while awaiting upgrades to the sewer system. A comment on this proposal was made during the meeting by Dr. Bart Steele who lives next to Wellings of Winchester. He sought assurance that before any further development takes place, the existing fence line will remain intact. He explained that the Wellings development has already “obliterated” some of the natural fence line (trees, etc). Calvin Pol – the Township’s Director of Planning, Building, and By-law Services – answered that staff will look into how much of the fence line can be preserved once the planned drainage is installed. Another comment on the same matter was received from Kyle Steele. He raised concerns that because his property is adjacent to the Wellings property, he has been dealing with the sounds of construction – including heavy equipment reverse alarms and explosions from blasting – for the last few years. Director Pol agreed to request that the developer install a fence for the purpose of mitigating noise pollution and the movement of construction garbage over the property line, though it is unclear if the developer will follow through with the request.

The third proposal for which a public meeting was held was to pass a by-law allowing all local businesses to open on public holidays, rather than just businesses that meet certain exemption criteria. Provincial regulations allow businesses to open on statutory holidays only if they are exempt, or if a municipal by-law is in place. Members of Council were supportive of the idea of local businesses making their own decisions regarding when to open.

Routine business was taken care of next, including the appointment of Councillor Matthew Uhrig to the Ad Hoc Rural Education Committee. Council members had a chance for a chuckle when Deputy Mayor Theresa Bergeron “nominated” Councillor Uhrig for the role, and Mayor Tony Fraser joked that it was a “quick comment”. Councillor John Lennox raised his hand to add only the words “thank you”, which elicited more laughter. Councillor Uhrig “humbly accepted” the appointment.

Later in the meeting, Council received information regarding tenders and quotes for things such as speed radar signs and a roof replacement at the Joel Steele Community Centre. Council also considered a few by-laws, including one to adopt the 2023-2033 taxation rates, and one to repeal a by-law that regulates the use of ATVs locally.

The meeting ended with Mayor Fraser discussing an item that was not on the agenda. This was regarding a study done for the intersection of County roads 7 and 43 in Chesterville. The Mayor briefly discussed some options for making the intersection safer. Far more business was packed into the May 16 meeting than what can be reasonably summarines here. Readers are encouraged to view a recording of the meeting at https://www.youtube.com/live/

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