Nestle, county agree: traffic lights at Brock, Gilmour roads a “dead issue”

The installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Brock and Gilmour Roads has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.

“I believe the issue is dead,” Wellington County operations manager Paul John­son said in a recent letter to Nestlé Waters Canada.

Nestlé agreed in late 2007 to fund the traffic lights, given the truck traffic that accesses its newly realigned entrance across from Gilmour Road.

But the cost ballooned to $600,000 – about six times the original quote from the county – due to a road widening, a concrete divider, and other unforeseen items.

“Nestlé is not prepared to contribute more than the original estimate and the county is not prepared to contribute the balance, especially as the traffic signals are not warranted,” Johnson wrote in his letter to Nestlé.

Nestlé’s director of corporate affairs John Challinor told Puslinch council last week a recent expansion has resulted in 1,500 fewer trucks per year accessing the Nestlé facility on Brock Road.

He added Nestlé and its neighbour, Meadows of Aber­foyle, have already spent about $400,000 on the intersection.

Councillors Dick Visser and Susan Fielding said they understand why Nestlé is unwilling to spend the extra money, especially considering the lights may not be necessary. Challi­nor said his company would be willing to discuss the lights in the future if anything changes.

Councillor Matthew Bul­mer said he, too, understands Nestlé’s decision, but added there remains a perception in the community the lights are still coming.

Bulmer suggested Nestlé write its own letter, to accompany Johnson’s, so the township’s community oriented policing (COP) committee is aware of the decision.

Challinor agreed to write a letter and also to meet with the committee if necessary.

As an aside, he also noted Nestlé has had a great response to the signing of a well protection agreement with Puslinch and Erin, the two Wellington municipalities where the company has wells.

Puslinch Township has named Bulmer and resident Dianne Paron as its representatives on the well protection committee.

Nestlé will have two members on the committee and the GRCA one.