Council discusses Rockwood boundary reversal, drainage project, library lease

BRUCEDALE – Guelph/Eramosa councillors met briefly on Nov. 20. 

Items discussed include: 

  • the reversal of a unilateral provincial decision to expand Rockwood’s urban boundary;
  • completion of repair and maintenance to the Hill Drain; and
  • renewal of a lease between Wellington County and Guelph/Eramosa Township for the Rockwood library.

Reversed expansion

Wellington County’s policy planning manager Sarah Wilhelm attended the meeting to present a County of Wellington report addressing the reversal of Rockwood’s boundary extension. 

On April 11 the provincial government made unilateral modifications to Wellington County’s Official Plan, adding more than 1,000 acres of land to urban boundaries, including 37 acres adjacent to Rockwood. 

On Oct. 23, Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Paul Calandra announced legislation to reverse the changes, including those within Wellington County. 

Wilhelm said the province did not consult with local municipalities or the county about the urban expansion. 

If it had, it would have known Rockwood could not accommodate a boundary extension – largely due to limited sewage capacity. 

So the reversal is “really a good news story for the township,” Wilhelm said. 

Mayor Chris White said, “I think it should go without saying that should we ever be making decisions like this, they need to go through the county, and through the township, and through the public, and should be thought out and planned.” 

He said he is “very happy to see” the reversal.  

Hill Drain work complete

Repair and maintenance of the Hill Drain was completed in October – the drain was cleaned out to the original grade after a request was received from an affected property owner. 

The work was needed to address a blockage in the tile line. 

The cost of the project is partially covered by a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). 

The rest will be covered by the 10 benefitting property owners on Wellington Roads 22 and 29. 

The total cost of the construction work was $6,267. 

Of this, $1,598 will be covered by the OMAFRA grant and the remaining $4,699 by affected property owners. 

Library lease extension

For 14 years, Wellington County has leased space at 121 Rockmosa Drive for the Rockwood library branch. 

Council has agreed to renew the lease, which will expire at the end of this year, for another five years. 

Councillor Bruce Dickieson asked if there was consideration of selling the property to the county. 

White said though it could be a future possibility if the money was needed for a capital project, selling the property is “not on the table right now.”