BRUCEDALE – Guelph/Eramosa council met on Nov. 6 and discussed several matters, including:
- the Marden time capsule opening date;
- Rockwood Farmers’ Annual Santa Claus Parade of Lights;
- a heritage committee request for a reserve fund; and
- a proposed lot line adjustment on 7th Line.
Marden time capsule
Members of the public expressed their wishes “loud and clear,” and Guelph/Eramosa council voted unanimously to change the reopening date for the Marden time capsule.
The capsule was initially sealed in 1962, by students and teachers at Marden Public School.
Since then, the capsule has been opened, emptied, refilled and resealed twice: in 1997 and in September this year.
Though the capsule is located on municipal property – in the cairn at the Marden library – Mayor Chris White said it’s not really a municipal capsule – if Marden Public School still existed, the school would make decisions about the capsule, not Guelph/Eramosa council.
Students and teachers from the school were among the 30-some people who attended the capsule opening on Sept. 10.
Councillor Corey Woods said the opening was a “wonderful event,” but there was one complaint he heard from many: the capsule should be opened in 25 years, not 50.
Woods brought the complaint to the township’s heritage committee, which approved reducing the timeline.
People involved with the capsule are “pretty passionate about the 25-year timing, so who are we to say ‘no’?” White said.
“I think we’ve heard the message loud and clear.”
Councillors voted unanimously to change the reopening date from 2073 to 2048.
Guelph/Eramosa township will be providing the Rockwood Farmers’ Annual Santa Claus Parade with in-kind support again this year.
The parade is a “major centerpiece” of Guelph/Eramosa’s identity, White said, showcasing the township’s connection to agriculture and the rural community’s ability to organize a renowned event without government holding the reins.
The Rockwood farmers’ parade is “probably world famous,” White continued.
Councillor Mark Bouwmeester agrees the parade is a “fantastic event” that he’s happy to stand behind.
“I’m glad to see it’s in the plans already,” he said.
The parade begins at 7pm on Dec. 14, but White suggests people show up early as there will be road closures on:
- Highway 7 at Eramosa-Milton Townline;
- Highway 7 at Wellington Road 44 and 4th Line; and
- Wellington Road 27 at Wellington Road 124.
The township’s in-kind support includes approximately 110 hours of staff time, 50 to 70 hours of equipment time, signage and overlays.
The road closure signs are the same used for Remembrance Day road closures, with overlays to change dates.
The overlays are expected to cost less than $100.
Heritage reserve fund
Council authorized the creation of a Heritage Committee Reserve Fund within the 2024 budget and onwards.
Until now, any funds left unspent by the committee at the end of the budget period went back into the township’s rate stabilization fund.
Woods, who chairs the heritage committee, noted, “Sometimes bigger projects come up, so it would be nice if we could save up and use it towards some bigger projects in future years.”
Councillor Bruce Dickieson said creating a heritage reserve fund “makes perfect sense,” and councillor Steven Liebig added the heritage committee is consistently “professional and diligent.”
White noted a reserve fund would help ensure the heritage committee is able to fulfil its mandate – to advise and assist council regarding conservation of properties of historic or architectural value and support civic interest in heritage conservation.
The heritage fund would likely be capped at $10,000, White said, to ensure the reserve does not “grow into anything too large.”
The heritage committee has $3,000 of unused funds from the 2023 budget that will go into the 2024 heritage reserve fund.
Lot line adjustment
Council reviewed a consent application submitted to the County of Wellington for a lot line adjustment at 5796 7th Line.
The application proposes severing 1.1 hectares (2.7 acres) from a retained agricultural parcel and adding it to a vacant undersized rural residential parcel at 5778 7th Line.
The existing residential parcel will increase from 0.3 hectares (0.74 acres) to 1.4 hectares (3.45 acres).
The lot line adjustment has been requested in order to enable the construction of a proposed three-bedroom house, as well as a septic system.
The merged lot includes a wetland, limiting options for the location of the building and septic system.
There is no existing entrance to 7th Line on the severed parcel, so the creation of an approved entrance is required.
The retained parcel is approximately 38 hectares (93.9 acres) and contains a house, barn and drive shed.
The retained and severed lands are designated prime agricultural, core greenlands and greenlands, and include significant wooded area, Grand River Conservation Authority regulated flood plain wetlands, and provincially significant wooded areas.
The severed parcel is primarily core greenland designation.
The proposed lot lines are based on the natural features on the property, including incorporating an entire wetland on the severed lot rather than splitting it between the two.
Surrounding property uses include agricultural and residential.
White said the application “seems pretty straightforward.”
Director of public works Harry Niemi said he does not expect any issues with the new entrance.