Plans for new public works garage
By Chad Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed during an Aug. 15 Algonquin Highlands council meeting.
Algonquin Highlands council is planning for the construction of a new public works garage with office space off of North Shore Road.
Councillors heard a presentation from Frank Palmay of Tulloch Engineering regarding the project. Staff are recommending the construction of a single-storey building containing office space and two drive-through bays, along with paved parking space for 14 vehicles. The project has an anticipated price tag of approximately $1.3 million, however, councillors indicated they would also like to explore the construction of ground-mounted solar panels at the site, or at least design the project to allow for their installation in the future, and a subsequent staff report regarding that will come back to the council table.
The plan is for the building to be constructed near a sand pit along North Shore Road. The project will require significant site work.
“The site is not even remotely flat right now,” Palmay said, adding that excavation costs were estimated at about $130,000. Total site works are expected to cost $555,000.
“We’ve been talking about the deficiencies of the building next door for years,” said Mayor Carol Moffatt, referring to an aging public works garage along North Shore Road. Moffatt said the plan is to borrow the funds for the project.
“We are proposing to borrow money, and there’s definitely a levy increase attached to that,” she said, adding it made sense to take time and get the project right.
A further report will come back to council.
No funding for road repairs
Algonquin Highlands has once again been turned down for grant funding for repairs to North Shore Road. The township was unsuccessful in a grant application for nearly $500,000 to the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund to help with repairs to the road between St. Peter’s Road and Airport Road.
“I have contacted the ministry and asked for an update on where we fell short,” public works director Adam Thorn told councillors.
The total cost of the work is more than $740,000, and Thorn said he wanted to consult engineers to see what repairs the township could start doing internally.
“It’s something we have to start addressing right now,” Thorn said.
AH gets accessibility grant
While earlier this year the township was told it had been declined for a grant through the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund toward a lift system at the Stanhope library branch, in July, the township was informed that funding remained available, that the application had been reviewed, and that the township would be receiving money. The project is anticipated to cost just less than $80,000, and the grant is for just more than $50,000, with the township covering the remainder.
Taking aim at single-use plastics
Councillor Lisa Barry, who sits on the township’s environment and stewardship committee, said members of the committee are working toward a plan for reducing the use of single-use plastics in the township.
“The committee has sort of brainstormed looking at a plastics reduction strategy,” Barry said, adding this entailed looking at the township’s own in-house operations, as well as a public education component.
Public works director Adam Thorn said there have been discussions about reducing the use of single-use plastics within the roads department.
“We have been talking about reducing single-use plastics within our own staff,” Thorn said.