BROCKTON – Among the issues on the agenda at this week’s meeting of Bruce County council is one that concerns Mayor Chris Peabody – the impact of staff shortages on winter road maintenance.
“The county has a shortage of snow plow operators,” said the mayor.
The report by Miguel Pelletier, director of transportation and environmental services, stated that recruiting seasonal operators isn’t a new challenge for the county, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation much more difficult.
At present, the county has one vacant seasonal operator position but projects it will be able to maintain roads. However, the county’s response to a significant weather event may be slower than usual.
Peabody is also looking at a report on the planning committee agenda for some possible answers to concerns he has about growth in Brockton.
The Plan the Bruce – Agriculture report will be presented to the committee. Peabody explained he’d like to see some options for smaller agricultural properties near hamlets.
“I want hamlet boundaries expanded,” the mayor said.
Brockton has taken issue with another Plan the Bruce report that would limit growth both within the boundaries of Walkerton and in hamlets that include Cargill and Chepstow.
The rising COVID numbers in the province are a concern, although the numbers in Grey-Bruce remain relatively stable. Peabody noted this area was one of three in the province where numbers weren’t increasing. He credits that to the health unit’s contact tracing.
“It’s working,” he said.
A matter of local interest is the ongoing dispute between the Saugeen Municipal Airport Commission (SMAC) and pilot Phil Englishman. Peabody noted there’s been no resolution to date – Englishman is still prevented from accessing his hangar by large concrete blocks.
The issue continues to be raised at meetings of Brockton council on a regular basis, with Coun. Steve Adams having made a strongly worded request for information about the amount SMAC is spending on legal matters.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times