December Council Column

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I had the unique opportunity to attend the conference, “Energy Now and into the Future”, held by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

With the turn of colder weather comes higher heating bills and energy prices are on many of our minds. With little comfort, energy prices will continue to climb over the next number of years despite the fact that we are conserving and using less and less energy. Why would you use less and pay more? The answer is there wasn’t a proper asset management plan for energy infrastructure. Ontario now faces losing or upgrading the nuclear station, aging transmission lines, and the need to incorporate new technology. Where will Ontario get the money to overhaul the energy sector? The answer lies in the largest fee in your hydro bill – the Global Adjustment charge. How much you will pay for your Global Adjustment depends on how much energy you use during the 5 highest hours of peak in Ontario in a year. Yes, that large fee is based on 5 hours of energy use. The energy sector is definitely a complex system with various players and an interesting history. A vision of local micro-generation, micro-grids, and smart-grids is certainly within our capability – we’ll just have to cut some red tape to get there. Moving forward, there are ways that a municipality can take more control with energy recapturing, battery storage, and retrofits. Local Distribution Centres (LDCs), like Peterborough Utilities, may be making a comeback in our Province.

Construction has begun on new model homes by Pristine Homes and Bromont Homes on Fallis Line in preparation for house sales in the planned subdivision. In anticipation of the new subdivision, the Millbrook Valley Trails Committee has begun working on a new urban trail to link the new subdivision to downtown Millbrook. The cement is poured and the steel beams are on site for the construction of bridges over the ravines.

The construction of the new sand dome at the public works yard is complete and full of sand for the upcoming winter months. Other construction projects including the King Street renovation are wrapping up for the winter. The last section of the King Street construction between Cavan and Houston streets work will begin again in the spring to replace and upgrade the water main, curb and gutter, sidewalk, and roadway. In more development news, Frederick Street is seeing 6 new homes being built by developer Veltri and Sons. The cost of new road and sidewalk infrastructure is being split between the developer and the Township.

A coffer dam is to be built at the Millbrook Dam in the area of the penstock. Otonabee Conversation advised the Township that immediate action is required to the head pond to deal with leakage with the penstock “as a matter of public safety”.

Given the pending winter season the Authority must act quickly to:

  • Retain a construction company that is capable and available to undertake the work;
  • Retain capacity to supervise the construction project;
  • Obtain necessary provincial, municipal and Authority permits required for this type of work;
  • Install the monitoring equipment;
  • Construct the coffer dam;
  • Implement public safety measures (i.e. fencing to restrict access onto the coffer dam, signage, etc.);
  • Implement communications activities to inform residents.

The proposed coffer dam will fulfill the immediate purpose of controlling leakage in the area of the penstock. It also has the additional benefit of facilitating the removal of the steel penstock and the reconstruction of the dam at that location. The coffer dam has also been designed to form part of the coffer dam required for the reconstruction of the spillway.

The public will have opportunity to speak to the 2017 budget on February 6 at 7pm at the Municipal Office (988 County Road 10, Millbrook)

You can follow the budget process to hear what is being presented to council:

  • 1st Draft: Dec.5 from 9am-11am
  • 2nd Draft: Jan.19 from 9am-3pm

Cavan Monaghan Council would like to wish all our residents a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Stay safe and enjoy the Holiday Season!

by Jordan Landry, Cavan Ward Councillor

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