With the holidays over and everyone getting ready to take on a new year, it seems appropriate to look back at 2017 from a council perspective. In 2017 there were almost 30 Regular and Special meetings, as well as various committee meetings and public information sessions. These meetings, along with the regular day to day business of Severances and Tender Awards, kept council and staff hard at work on a number of projects pertaining to our community. Since it is “List Season”, here is a list of some of the most significant projects of 2017.
As last year began, Council wasted no time addressing some of the big agenda items. Right out of the gate was the kickoff to Zoning By-Laws review. A yearlong project that kept Planning staff busy reviewing ALL the township’s By-Laws to ensure they are consistent and reflect what the ratepayers of Cavan Monaghan want for our community. The Zoning By-Laws touch on everything from general land use and setbacks, to parking requirements and urban chickens. Staff conducted a number of public meetings to solicit input, and made several trips to council to provide progress reports. All of this work now comes before council for a special meeting on January 18th.
Another project that came back to council several times over the course of the year was the new Community Centre. A lot of work and countless hours from staff, volunteers and council over the year was dedicated to this major project. We have passed through many gates to get from conceptual drawings to detailed plans. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was formed to provide community input into the design. The volunteer fundraising committee is off and running with a strong start towards their $1M goal. With the architectural drawings complete, we are positioned now to go to tender for the actual construction. At the final council meeting if 2017, we were presented with the overall design and colour palette. It will be exciting to watch this project physically take shape in the year ahead.
Annexation became a hot topic in 2017. After decades of boundary talks with the City of Peterborough, Cavan Monaghan was presented with Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Although opinions differ on whether it was a good deal for the township or not, negotiations did not get a chance to get underway. With the Township and the City not seeing eye-to-eye on the matter, the issue was returned to provincial facilitations. With 2018 being an election year, it’s not likely we’ll see this subject return before council for a few more years.
What would be a summer in Millbrook without road work? 2017 didn’t disappoint. The final stretch of the King Street project from Cavan Street to Huston diverted traffic coming into town from the West for most of the summer and fall. Thankfully, they are almost complete, with time running out before the winter weather descended, the crews managed to get the road to a usable state for the winter. All that remains in the spring is to lay the last layer of surface treatment to finish the project off. At that point, King Street will be completely done above and below ground from downtown to jail hill. Three years of road work will finally come to an end.
The perennial favorite, the Millbrook Dam, was a topic that came up numerus times over the course of the year. We got to see the unveiling of the new design, the redesign of the new design. The construction contract was awarded this past fall and on January 8th 2018 there will be the long awaited groundbreaking ceremony. The work is slated to finish by fall of 2018, closing a long chapter in the history of the Millbrook and the dam.
I have only listed a few of the very many projects and topics that came up over the course of 2017. There were also a number of special projects that individual councilors with the help of staff and volunteers championed throughout the year. Be it the Millbrook Valley “urban” Trails, environmental alternatives, or making sure there was a Santa Claus parade, there was never a dull moment round the council in 2017. In 2018 I look forward to seeing further progress in some projects, conclusions to others, and of course, the anticipation of those yet to come.
Council Column by Ryan Huntley