Opinions expressed here are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Council or staff.
First, congratulations to the new owner of The Millbrook Times, Karen Graham, and editor Celia Hunter for continuing the wonderful tradition of publishing this newspaper. In a time where major newspaper publications are disappearing, we are truly blessed to have a local paper that keeps us all informed on the local issues of importance to this vibrant community.
One of those important local issues is the proposed upgrading of Millbrook’s municipal water and wastewater system. The Millbrook Water & Wastewater Environment Assessment (EA) public meeting was held on the evening of March 7, 2013. The wastewater plant will be undergoing a major upgrade that may cost upwards of 21 million dollars. While grants received from the provincial and federal governments will each cover approximately one third of the project cost, the balance of the cost will have to be paid by the 598 users of the water and 586 users of the wastewater system in the village of Millbrook.
Several concerns were discussed at the public meeting, including asking the consulting team to find ways that noise occurring during the approximately 18 month construction period might be mitigated. The ongoing issue of traffic and noise from the trucks that utilize the facility currently and bothers local residents was also brought up. It was suggested when the water pipeline is completed to the municipal building on County Road 10, perhaps the water trucks could draw water from an outlet at that location as a noise mitigation measure. Another suggestion made was that perhaps the construction of an earth berm filled with plant material that would not only muffle traffic sounds but would act as an attractive visual barrier between the facility and residential neighbours be considered. It is so important that suggestions and concerns are brought forward during the design stage so as to avoid unforeseen future complications. Once the final draft of the EA (environmental assessment) is issued, the public will have 30 days to submit suggestions, opinions and/or objections. This project is expected to be completed by December of 2016.
Continuing on the subject of local water and environmental matters, the Environmental Assessment on the Millbrook Dam, Needler’s Mill and Millbrook pond is still in process. The public had an opportunity to hear and review the consultants’ recommendations on Tuesday, March 26th at theTownship of Cavan Monaghan (Gymnasium). It is essential that the public be involved in this process.
I am completely supportive of retaining these historic features. A local citizen’s group acting as advocates for the retention of the mill and the dam have produced a website which I would encourage all to visit – www.savethedammillpond.com. The consulting team will review comments received at the public meeting and will proceed with publishing the environmental study report. The E.A. is still ongoing on the site of the former Millbrook correctional facility. Neither property is owned by the municipality.
These are just a few of many issues facing residents and council alike in the Township of Cavan Monaghan. While members of council work hard to protect the community as well as create pathways for future economic, social and cultural prosperity, we need to hear from you and often!