May Report from Joanne and Brenda
Despite recent turmoil, the PRATAC executive have been keeping on top of things. Two developments in particular caught our attention:
Council and town staff want to slow traffic on Pakenham’s main street. We were very concerned about the original proposal which was to add bump outs that will potentially cause some major problems for transport trucks and farm vehicles that come down the Waba Road and turn right onto Pakenham’s main street.
PRATAC was pleased to learn that Council agreed for the matter to be further considered by The Public Works Advisory (PWAC) prior to a final decision. PWAC met to discuss this matter on May 7th. They made a presentation to two Council representatives and town staff which clearly stated numerous concerns with the bumpouts and recommended alternative traffic calming measures. (See full report here —Laura to add link)
The input from PWAC was considered at the next Council meeting on May 21st. We were again pleased to learn that Council directed staff to obtain estimates for the proposed changes to the Pakenham cross over (which would no longer include bump-outs) and bring it forward for consideration at an upcoming meeting. They also agreed to forward PWAC’s recommendations regarding radar speed signs and a Community Safety Zone in the area to the County of Lanark for consideration.
So far this is a successful outcome and a testament to the good work of the PWAC, chaired by Larry O’Keefe
You can access PRATAC reports on Committee and Council meetings here (Laura to add link)
Almonte Downtown Core Infrastructure Renewal—-Making the town more beautiful?
Almonte has to replace the underground infrastructure on Mill Street which dates back to 1930. This will result in most of the surface works being torn up as sewers, water main and services to the property lines are replaced. The Town decided that this is an opportune time to upgrade the surface infrastructure. They have engaged consultants to prepare a detailed plan which is published on the Mississippi Mills website.
One part of the plan is to dismantle the Little Bridge Street trestle. The OVRT trail will be re-graded as a level crossing. Some members of PRATAC have expressed concerns about the removal of the bridge, especially if there is a large cost involved. Others think removing the bridge is an improvement that will open up and brighten the Little Bridge street entrance to the downtown and will slowdown vehicle traffic on the path as they pass through the downtown area. As well, removing the bridge will provide wider access to the downtown core for safety vehicles such as fire trucks. Opinions with respect to the bridge itself also vary, with some thinking the bridge adds heritage character while others think it is ugly.
On the cost aspect, Guy Bourgon, Director of Roads and Public Works advised Joanne that “The County of Lanark is responsible for the rail trestle structure located on Little Bridge Street. The Municipality is responsible for the remainder of the infrastructure below and adjacent to the trestle such as the sidewalk, railing, retaining walls along both sides of the street, roadway and all underground infrastructure which is very deep through Little Bridge to get under the trestle. The County has indicated their willingness to cost share on the removal of the trestle as there are on-going inspection, maintenance and replacement costs associated with all bridges that the County would have to bear if the trestle is not removed. This also saves the Municipality considerable costs by reducing the retaining wall quantities and heights, eliminating railings and allowing for shallower infrastructure below the roadway.”
In answer to some questions regarding the proposed Bridge street bicycle paths in the plan, Mr. Bourgon advised Joanne that “Council decided that Bridge Street and the work on the southeast portion going towards the library would not go forward for detailed design. The detailed design focuses on Mill Street, Little Bridge Street, Brae Street and High Street (including the parking lot).
The Town has arranged a public meeting on Monday, June 3rd to discuss the plan. PRATAC would encourage any members who have any questions about the plan to attend that meeting.
Other news of interest
- Council has appointed a new CAO, Ken Kelly
- Mississippi Mills has posted the 2018 Financial Return on the town website
- There will be a PWAC meeting on June 24th to discuss the Pedestrian Crossing Lights on Paterson Street at Holy Name of Mary School.
- Ed Wilson, A PRATAC executive member has been elected the new chair of the Finance and Policy Advisory Committee