Barnes Bridge to be replaced
CRAMAHE TOWNSHIP – Director of operations Dan O’Brien had good news for Cramahe Township Council on Feb. 12. He, Mayor Marc Coombs and chief administrative officer Christie Alexander had met with officials for CN Rail and received a promise that a new bridge over Barnes Road will be in the company’s 2014 budget.
In the interim the company will have engineers look at the existing bridge which has been closed since Aug. 31, 2012, in the hopes that it can be reinforced to allow some traffic over it. If the company can find a way to reinforce the current bridge, there may be some financial assistance to the township for the upgrade.
The proposed bridge would be two lanes and would take four to six weeks to assemble. Much of the structure will be prefabricated, then assembled on site.
Castleton Mill conversion stalls
CRAMAHE TOWNSHIP – When the Cox family arrived in Cramahe Township it had no idea what lay ahead. The family is heavily into the arts and hoped to convert the Castleton Mill into a studio rehearsal space.
But since they moved to the township they have faced unanticipated problems. A contractor recommended to them did not fulfil their requirements and was released.
Then they discovered that the mill is 10 inches from the north property line. The neighbour to the north is erecting a fence on the line which would render access to the main floor of the mill impossible.
Candace and Mitchell Cox were at Cramahe Council on Feb. 12 hoping the township could help them with their problems. They have sunk $120,000 into the mill and can’t proceed without a remedy to the property line problem. The mill wasn’t always that close to the neighbour’s property. Until recently they were separated by a road allowance. But the township closed it and offered it for sale. Only the neighbour to the north was interested and purchased it for $1,600.
Candace Cox explored several lines of inquiry in her presentation to council. She wondered about regulations restricting fences so close to the adjacent building; she questioned the decision made by council to sell the allowance, given the proximity to the mill; and he asked if buildings were allowed to be so close to a property line.
She got little more than sympathy and an offer to expediate a solution.
Planning and bylaw co-ordinator Alison Torrie Lapaire explained that fences are not covered under the bylaw governing structures.
Councillor Ed Van Egmond admitted council did not have a complete map of the adjacent properties when it made the decision to sell. He acknowledged he would not have supported a sale if he had known the entire situation.
Chief building official Natalie Moroz-Cornell advised that the building bylaws only covered the location of new buildings, not those already in existence.
Mayor Marc Coombs offered to have the township write a letter to the neighbour to the north in an attempt to persuade him to sell the Coxes a few feet of property so they can have complete access to their building.
Speed limits set on Purdy Road
CRAMAHE TOWNSHIP – A dearth of speed limit signs along Purdy Road in Cramahe Township and questions about the stop sign at the corner of Purdy and Little Lake Road resulted in an engineer’s report which was reviewed at Cramahe Council’s Feb. 12 meeting.
The report by D.M. Wills recommended that the speed limit on Purdy Road starting at Big Apple Drive, be 50 km-h until the road is 500 metres east of Parliament Street, where it would increase to 80 km-h. It would remain 80 km-h until the road crosses Little Lake Road, where it would change back to 50. East of Lake Road and Trent Valley Road the speed would increase to 80.
Given the lack of sightlines for eastbound drivers, Wills recommended that the stop sign on the corner of Purdy and Little Lake Road remain.
Council seemed torn by the recommendations. Deputy Mayor Jim Williams felt that the 80 km-h speed limit would be a problem for farm vehicles entering and exiting the hilly road.
Councillor Ed VanEgmond questioned the deputy mayor’s suggestion, saying that, using that logic, a lower speed limit would be required on many of the township’s gravel roads.
Mayor Marc Coombs had some doubts about keeping the stop sign at Little Lake Road. He noted that there is a similar situation on Telephone Road where no stop sign exists.
In the end the engineer’s report was accepted unanimously. Township planning and bylaw co-ordinator Alison Torrie Lapaire will draft a bylaw to enact council’s decision.