Council Column – November

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Last Saturday, we attended the Millbrook BIA’s Millbrook, the Valley of Volunteers Cocktail Party. It was a great evening with friends old and new brought together by their recognition that it is up to all of us to make our community thrive. Whether we do it grudgingly or with joy in our hearts determines whether it’s fun or a chore. The BIA chooses to make it fun. Congratulations to them!

I’d like to tip my hat to one group of volunteers in particular, the committee members and volunteers who work on Millbrook Valley Trails. 2017 has been an exciting year for those who love the Millbrook Valley Trails. The trails are being expanded in two locations, the new urban trail in Millbrook, and the extension, linking the Millbrook Valley Trail system with the Ganaraska Trail system. Although the weather has slowed completion, significant progress has been made.

The urban trail, now Station Trail, follows the old rail bed between King and Tupper. However, working together with Mario Cortelluci of Towerhill Development, we are connecting the new subdivision to the trails system, to Millbrook South Cavan School, the downtown and County Road 10, by trail instead of just by road. From Station Park on King, it is a short walk down Main Street to the Baxter Creek Trail via the Fairgrounds.

Beyond the Meadow Trail extension, via the Deyell Detour, a committed crew has been working on the Ganny Transit which will link the original trails with the Ganaraska Trails System. This has been a goal of the Committee since its inception, through the development of the Millbrook Valley Trails Masterplan, until today as we continue to plan for the two bridges that will span Baxter Creek to complete that part of the dream.

Congratulations to all former and current Millbrook Valley Trail members and volunteers who worked to make the dream a reality.

Not as exciting, but nonetheless important, the 2018 budget process has begun. Council’s intentions for the next year and how they will be paid for are made apparent through the discussions at Council meetings and the public meeting January 15th.

Plans for the new Community Centre are moving forward. Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018 with the opening in the fall of 2019.

My current book recommendation is Perverse Cities by Pamela Blais. There is a review at:

http://marketurbanism.com/2013/09/24/book-review-perverse-cities-by-pamela-blais/

It provides an analysis of why despite the recognition that urban sprawl is an inefficient and expensive way for communities to grow and in theory has been discouraged by senior levels of government, that “flawed public policies and mispricing create hidden “perverse” subsidies and incentives that promote sprawl while discouraging more efficient and sustainable urban forms”  As the nights get longer and the weather outside less inviting, this an interesting book to consider as the County updates its Official Plan.

By Deputy Mayor John Fallis

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