FERGUS – Centre Wellington council has said, in no uncertain terms, that the Pierpoint Flyfishing and Nature Preserve should be protected and a Highway 6 truck bypass route alongside the site should no longer be considered.
Councillor Bronwynne Wilton put forward a motion on Jan. 29 to take that option, as presented in the township’s 2019 Transportation Master Plan, off the table and to inform Wellington County and the Ministry of Transportation.
The Transportation Master Plan recommends a new bridge across the Grand River at the intersection of Wellington Roads 29 and 18, landing on the north side of the river at the end of Anderson Street beside Pierpoint Park.
The bypass would detour off Anderson Street to a new collector road that would run east of Anderson and connect with 1st Line further north.
A local community group formed to protest this potential development and to lobby to protect the park.
Council declared Pierpoint Park a cultural heritage landscape in the summer.
Richard Pierpoint, after whom the park is named, was declared a figure of national historic significance by Heritage Canada in 2020.
Wilton noted a bypass near the park would have a negative impact on fly fishing and the ecosystem along the river.
She also noted a bypass should avoid residential areas, both new and existing, which this location would not.
“Thank you for bringing this forward,” said councillor Barb Lustgarten-Evoy.
“I support this motion,” added Mayor Shawn Watters. “I believe this is not the location for a bypass.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Code of conduct
Councillor Lisa MacDonald also put forward a motion that council endorsed.
Her motion had to do with a call from the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) for the province to introduce legislation for a strong, universal code of conduct for municipal councils.
“Two hundred and one municipalities have taken up arms with this,” MacDonald said.
“We have an amazing code of conduct but not all municipalities do.
“And I’m disappointed Wellington County hasn’t done this. It would be easy for them and all seven member municipalities would follow suit.”
The motion was to endorse AMO’s proposal and council had no problem with it, voting unanimously in favour.