Posted on January 10, 2017 at 1:30pm
Dicaire looks back on 2016 in AP Township
The past year has seen its share of highs and lows for Alfred-Plantagenet Township. Looking back, Mayor Fernand Dicaire summed up the year with one word.
Gregg Chamberlain, Gregg.Chamberlain@eap.on.ca
“For the township itself, it could be described as a quiet year,” Dicaire said.
The mayor noted that his remark applied more to new residential development over the past year. Council and township staff had a few surprises to incorporate into the existing budget and also make allowance for, in the 2017 budget.
One was the collapse of a large storm water culvert in the village of Wendover last year. The estimated replacement cost is about $900,000.
Council also had to budget for rehabilitation, this year, of the front of the community centre in Plantagenet. The façade was redone in 2008 but, Dicaire noted, needs redoing again.
The fire station in the village of Alfred needs a new roof. A preliminary estimate puts the possible cost at $120,000. Mayor Dicaire wants a structural engineering report first to determine if repairs to the existing roof will suffice or if a whole new structure is required.
One matter that Mayor Dicaire is happy to see finished is the sale agreement signed between the township and le Conseil scolaire du district catholique de l’Est Ontarien (CSDCEO) for the building and grounds of the former St-Joseph school in Lefaivre.
“Absolutely,” he said. “It’s returning a piece of property back to public use.”
Council has an advisory committee to review potential uses for the property and also recommend possible funding support sources for future recreational development of the site. The overall goal is creation of a riverside community park and also future expansion of the existing Lefaivre marina. But Mayor Dicaire noted one purpose already determined.
“That will be the site for the three-day July 1st celebration for the entire township,” he said, adding that a joint advisory committee representing all the villages and other interested parties is working on ideas and logistics for the gala event.
The municipal office in Plantagenet will see expansion this year to bring all township departments and employees together at one central location. For several years, the township has had one main office in Plantagenet and an auxiliary one in the village of Alfred. The township is renting space in the Alfred office for the village public library and turning the building into a permanent library facility is one future option that council may consider.
Mayor Dicaire is considering applying for the vice-chair position on the South Nation Conservation Authority board (SNC) later in the season. The mayor cited his own interest in helping regulate clearcutting within the South Nation River watershed, to reduce the potential impact of erosion on municipal drains, culverts and roads within the region.
“I think we do need to look at clearcutting,” he said.
Dicaire suggested that the SNC could work with local landowners, municipalities, and other stakeholders to develop an approval system for clearcutting and other land-clearing work that would avoid future erosion problems in the watershed.