Guelph-Eramosa council briefs: Township approves workplans, meeting schedule; hopes to offer sports leagues this summer

GUELPH-ERAMOSA – Despite the provincial state of emergency and stay-at-home order, summer sports programs here are continuing with registration and plans for the coming season.

Guelph-Eramosa parks and recreation director Robin Milne told council on April 6  that he remains hopeful the township will be able to offer the programs following the May 24 long weekend.

“By that point we should be back to a little bit of a normal summer, whatever that’s gonna look like,” said Milne during the Zoom meeting.

But until then, the township’s parks and recreation facilities will be heavily impacted by the province’s latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Milne explained everything will be closed – except outdoor amenities such as trails, dog parks, and playgrounds – until shutdown measures are lifted, which will be the end of the month at the earliest.

Future meeting schedule

Also at the April 6 virtual meeting, council verified its meeting schedule from June to the end of the year.

Meetings used to run in the evenings, but since the  COVID-19 pandemic hit a year ago, they were moved to the daytime.

Township officials have decided to continue with the current daytime schedule but it could change based on needs and if future conflicts arise.

The meetings will still be run virtually until it is safe to meet in person.

Mayor Chris White added that when things go back to in-person meetings the township will likely revert to one meeting in the evening and one in the day.

The schedule will be reexamined before the year is over, likely in the fall as more people are vaccinated and the COVID-19 situation changes.

“I’m pretty comfortable thinking we’re gonna be where we are probably until September, but who knows,” said White.

Workplan updates, quarry designations

Council also reviewed the 2021 department work plans for the township.

Questions about the water and wastewater report arose, pertaining to the project to connect watermains on Catherine Street to the new development north of the Metrolinx tracks to Rockmosa Drive in Rockwood.

Metrolinx is twinning existing tracks through the Guelph corridor and to do that obliges the township to extend the servicing tunnel that runs under the tracks on Wellington Road 27. The cost was expected to be $200,000 from water and wastewater reserves.

The project “came as a last-minute thing,” said public works director Harry Niemi. But after further assessment, Metrolinx decided against the more expensive process, Niemi added, noting “it won’t be required.”

“Persistence and tenacity are paying off,” said White, referring to the department staying firm on the issue.

Township officials had previously expressed dismay about being “on the hook for a Metrolinx project.”

Also reviewed at the council meeting was a resolution from Halton Hills pertaining to quarries, as Ontario is proposing the designation of the Reid River Reservoir Quarry in Milton under the Environmental Assessment Act (EA).

“This resolution just follows up with saying, if you’re doing an EA there, why not an EA here?” said White, referring to the proposed “Hidden Quarry” just outside Rockwood.