|Today's date: Monday May 20, 2013||Vol 46 Issue 20|
We Cover The County...
The Wellington Advertiser encourages letters to the editor.
An open letter to all cottagers.
Did you know that you may have less than one minute to escape a burning cottage or home?
This is why it is so critical that everyone prepare and practise a cottage or home escape plan, as well as being aware of the requirements for maintaining and replacing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Follow these five steps to protect your family and guests from fire and carbon monoxide danger:
- on day one of cottage season, prepare and practise a fire escape plan ensuring, wherever possible, that you have two ways out of every room of your cottage;
- check the age of all smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Immediately replace smoke alarms over 10 years old and CO alarms over seven years depending on the manufacturer. This is required whether alarms are plug-in, hard wired or battery powered;
- install fresh batteries in all alarms, especially those in cottages that were closed down for the winter as cold drains battery power;
- the same Ontario law applies in cottages as in permanent homes – working smoke alarms are required on every storey of your cottage and outside all sleeping areas; and
- cottages with fireplaces or fuel-burning appliances of any kind (eg. propane or gas stove, furnace, water heater etc.) should have a carbon monoxide alarm - this is law in many cottage municipalities.
Visit www.safeathome.ca/pieceofheaven for more tips.Ted Wieclawek,
Fergus library expansion
Now that our mayor and council has voted yes on library expansion, there are still some serious questions most of us have (I’m guessing you must have a majority of people on your side otherwise it would not pass, correct?). I assume this because we live in a democracy don’t we?
If any member of council is on the library board who put through the motion, then they should not be voting on this issue, due to the duplicity.
The library expansion is going forward but the electorate should take a hard look at the reasons why and change some laws of procedures that make the majority the minority.
I’m happy that an election is coming up and we can let our feelings be known.Bob Walker, FERGUS
I have been made aware of the intended building of about 600 homes in Hillsburgh.
I’m told that an independent consultant was paid over $300,000 for a report that is not yet complete (but took six years to produce) which councillors were given only six days to study and vote on (three of which were during a power outage).
Apparently Mayor Lou Maieron is trying to steamroll our other elected officials into approving a plan that is extremely important to every taxpayer in the Town of Erin.
I feel taxpayers should demand a meeting where the proposal can be thoroughly discussed - with the participation of all our elected officials.
Numerous newspaper articles regarding the antics of the mayor at the Credit Valley Conservation authority seem to indicate a style of operation that may not be in all our best interests.
Clearly the CVC board would like our town to substitute another candidate in his place so that they can get on with important issues.Donald Morrison, ERIN
Road work issue
RE: Willing to step up, May 10.
I wish to thank councillor Jim Curry for the reminder that “each of the Mapleton council members are taxpayers as well.”
That fact, however, raises a question: if the upgrade and reconstruction of Sideroad 12 (which is posted “not a through road” by the way) is a legitimate, taxpayer-funded project, why then is Driscoll Farms (and given that councillor Neil Driscoll is a taxpayer, as referenced) required to share some (limited, with sanction of council) portion of the cost?
When the concession on which I live was repaved some years ago, I was not asked to directly contribute to the cost, as I presume was the case with other concession residents.
Was that because that project was justified as being fully in the interest of the township overall and all taxpayers inclusively? If yes, and if the same principle applies, then I believe Driscoll Farms is being treated unfairly; the business should not be required to contribute toward the cost. Which is it?
Or, are we entering into some sort of a two-tier system whereby the allocation of tax dollars is influenced by one’s ability and willingness to pay above-and-beyond? Frightening.
Or maybe it’s quite simply a case of Driscoll Farms benefiting from its representation on council.
Finally, I must ask: Curry refers to businesses that “help to keep our residential taxes down.” That, in light of a 12.5% increase this year alone??Ron Klein, MOOREFIELD
Show some restraint
RE: The recent budget passed by Mapleton council.
First off, councillor Mike Downey should be applauded for standing up for taxpayers and voting against the budget. I also find it ironic that one councillor had trouble accepting a 2% wage increase for himself for council duties but had no problem passing the budget.
In these times of plant closures, high debt and deficits at upper government levels, this council could have shown some restraint.
We will always need road and bridge repairs and if this is a sign of the times, Mapleton residents better have deep pockets.Joe McKenna, MAPLETON
SSMP ‘silent treatment’
I am writing this letter as a taxpayer and concerned citizen of the Town of Erin.
I wish to address what is happening - or actually not happening - with the Servicing and Settlement Master Plan (SSMP) and the proposed development. I have had numerous conversations with various citizens of Erin and it would seem they all have one concern in common: “what is happening with our town?”
It would appear that the members of town council are being silent on both the SSMP and the future development and are not willing to engage in dialogue during a public meeting. During all meetings it has been just the mayor and town manager who have spoken to the public. Council needs to have an open discussion, giving their views and visions of the future of the town.
The townspeople need to know what options are available (in print), with the costs (not a figure of $65 million quoted without proper study and documentation), outcomes and timelines of those options, also what federal and provincial funding is available.
These option scenarios should be presented at a public meeting where council and staff will answer questions on the proposals. One question might be “has council spoken to the developer regarding using 21st century technology for the sewage treatment facility?”
There are many questions to be asked and debated, but if council continues with their present silent treatment regarding the public, it does not bode well for the future of this town.Ken Chapman, ERIN
Wants clear trails
Fergus is a really great town; great restaurants, music and trails, but those trails are not very clean.
Recently my class from Victoria Terrace Public School went on a walk to clean up a trail on Gzowski Street. We noticed many blue plastic dog poo bags.
We were confused why so many pedestrians would clean up after their dogs and then throw the bags into nature. Those bags don’t decompose for up to 10 to 100 years!
It is really hurting our environment. My classmates and I have a solution to this increasing problem. We were thinking the town could put garbage cans on the entrances to the trails. We really think this could help the environment, along with the animals living alongside the trails.
I would love to take a walk on clear trails.Joelle House, FERGUS
Prior the initial to Mr. Klein’s Letter to the Editor (Road to Nowhere, May 3) something else had caught my attention. The Advertiser was covering the upgraded road issue that leads to the Driscoll farm and drying operation - as it should. Thank you for taking on a hot potato.
The Driscolls are doing what any business does; they ask questions, grow their options, keep the doors of communication open and engaged. They are also making tough and expensive choices to remain viable. What impressed me the most was the transparency and integrity with which the Driscolls operated.
When the letter Road to Nowhere appeared I appreciated that in a land of free speech, I was glad the opinion could be expressed - even though it wasn’t mine. I still wanted to applaud the Driscolls’ approach to finding win-win solutions.
Neil Driscoll entered the public forum and expressed a conflict of interest, following the due processes. I would like to thank you and Barb for living your lives above board. I wanted to make a small voice to applaud your business approaches for your growth and other businesses around you. Thank you.Donna Hirtle, DRAYTON
“He who controls the river controls the growth of Erin.” Bad news, good news.
The SSMP succeeded in misleading the citizens of Erin into thinking that a gravity-fed central sewage treatment plant priced at $65 million with some $32,000 for hook-up per household is the only treatment option available to us.
Strategically speaking, it is in the best interest of the developers to have the existing population continue with their septic systems intact. Why? The ability of the West Credit River to accept our waste stream from a treatment plant is limited to a specific number of residents serviced. This number is determined by the CVC and the Ministry of Environment in what is called the Assimilative Capacity Study (ACS). If our community rejects a treatment plant and remains on septic systems, developers will construct their own treatment plant(s) and will monopolize our river’s total capacity to absorb their new development(s). If we do not lay claim now to our river by utilizing its ability to absorb our own population first, we will forego our native rights to the river, forever. That is the bad news.
The good news is there are treatment alternatives to the “old-world” technology being proposed in the SSMP which are significantly less expensive, less intrusive, more effective, odourless and likely at no significant up front costs to the residents of Erin. How? By negotiating private/public partnerships, currently favoured and funded by our governments, coupled with productive negotiations with developers and the local water industries (Nestle) who would also benefit in the proven technologies now available to treat wastewater in a more efficient collection and communal treatment model.
Our existing growth plan calls for 6,500 people in the village of Erin and Hillsburgh by 2035. The SSMP expected the river to support as many as 13,500, but the final ACS will likely dictate a much lower population, in part because of climate change. One proposed scenario is for an upper limit of 7,500. Then, if we all stayed on septic systems, the developer(s) would be in a position to build a treatment plant for 7,500 people for their new development. This would increase our total population from 6,500 to 14,000 by 2035. Conversely, if we commit now to an affordable treatment facility to service our population to 2035, the developer(s) would technically be limited to adding only 1,000 people. There are other factors and population numbers that may change, but you get the point.
We have to think very carefully. Do we want to give up our claim to our river and accept more development by holding on to our septic systems, some of which are failing? We certainly don’t need to invest $65 million in old-world technology that would create long-term financial and physical turmoil in our villages.
To avoid losing our river to the developers, and for the benefit of our environment and future generations, we must explore cost-effective treatment alternatives to our septic systems. “He who controls the river, controls the growth of Erin.”Roeland Val, ERIN
RE: The improper sewer connections in the Noble Ridge subdivision in Rockwood.
We have come to expect this type of “don’t worry, it will be fine” attitude that has plagued this Charleston Homes development.
I’m no engineer, but even I know that when sewage hits a ‘T’ in the pipe, some of it will go in both directions. When this happens, some of the solids get left behind, dry out and stick, causing blockages. Even the Romans knew this over a thousand years ago. This is plumbing 101. How Charleston thinks it’s okay is beyond me.
I urge all council members to force Charleston to tear up their roads and build the sewers to code without any compromises. They should also be ordered to pay for a complete, thorough inspection of everything else they have done out there.
After the township assumes responsibility for the subdivision there is no way that any of us want to pay to fix what wasn’t built right in the first place. If the township allows any compromises we will remember it at election time.
I do not believe the arrogance of Charleston to ask for a reduction in their letter of credit to the township at the very same meeting.
Had I been at that meeting, once I stopped laughing and picked myself up off the floor, I would have asked council to double the letter of credit. In fact I am asking them to double it.Marty Durksen, ROCKWOOD
Five years ago I thought I was doing the right thing and signed up at the door with a fixed contract.
Recently I received a notice from “fixed contract” to sign up again. Before doing so I took my bill to my neighbour who is with Union Gas and found that I was paying in excess of $100 per month more than my neighbour.
I’m the only one at my house and know that I have been ripped off royally. I’ve switched back to Union Gas.
I just want to let others know, in case they may be in a similar situation.Laura Swanson, MOUNT FOREST
Dave Adsett: Too much sad, not enough glad?
• Acton Fall Fair
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