Guelph-Eramosa Township council briefs

A speed limit reduction, the Christmas parade and department reports were a few of the items discussed at the Guelph-Eramosa council meeting on Oct. 19. 

Speed limit reduction

The speed limit has been reduced to 60km/h from 80km/h on Mill Road, for 400 metres west of Watson Road. This means there is a continuous 60km/h section of road from that point all the way to Jones Baseline.

Director of public works Harry Niemi said safety concerns were identified regarding the 80km/h speed limit on the stretch of Mill Road after Sharpe Farms (the business on the corner of Watson and Mill Roads) completed an expansion. A traffic study was completed in August. 

Niemi said in his report he was recommending a speed reduction because of the large business driveway at Sharpe Farms and the close proximity of the Watson Road intersection and the business entrance. 

Christmas parade

Council has once again offered in-kind support for the Rockwood Farmers’ Parade of Lights, set for Dec. 10 and organized by the not-for-profit Rockwood Farming Community committee.

To help with the parade the public works department will:

– obtain the approval to close Highway 7 and Wellington Road 27;

– add Wellington County and the Ministry of Transportation to the township’s insurance to cover the event;

– chair a planning committee to coordinate traffic control between the OPP, Guelph-Eramosa Fire Department and public works;

– notify emergency services about the road closures;

– arrange and install road closed signs, detour signs, arrow boards, traffic barricades and traffic barrels;

– provide safety vests and two-way radios; and

– close Highway 7 at Milton/Eramosa Town Line and at the intersection of Wellington Road 44 and the 4th line and close Wellington Road 27 and 124. 

Fire department report

A report presented to council by deputy fire chief Richard Renaud stated fire and emergency services responded to 13 calls in September: eight medical, three mutual aid, one false alarm and one motor vehicle accident. 

Councillor Corey Woods said he noticed that in 2015 the carbon monoxide and smoke alarm calls are up and he asked if that was due to education or more incidents. 

“There’s more alarms in the homes,” Renaud explained. “Which will trigger more incidents. In a lot of cases I think there was some carbon monoxide in the homes and people didn’t realize it.”

He said a lot of the calls the department responds to are expired fire alarms and battery issues. 

“So we haven’t had too many that were actually carbon monoxide calls,” Renaud said. 

Woods also asked why mutual aid calls are up this year, reaching 17 by September, compared to seven for all of 2014. 

“We went into a contract agreement for automatic aid with Puslinch so that’s drawn more calls,” Renaud explained. “So anytime they have any reported structure fire, we automatically go to them; anytime we have a reported structure fire, they automatically come to us.” 

This is because neither department has the necessary manpower or equipment individually. Renaud said the department may explore similar agreements with Erin and Centre Wellington because none of the departments can cover the needs individually. 

Building report

The third quarter report from the building department stated construction permit activity between January and September was valued at $24.98 million, whereas at the same time last year the value was at $33.69 million. 

The total collected permit fees after the third quarter reached $258,751 compared to $265,043 for the same period last year. The total number of permits issued has increased by 23 to 210 and the total number of new residential units has increased by 20 to 50.