At their June 21 council meeting, Limerick Township council discussed some possible revisions to the nascent Limerick Lake Estates development by Trident Members Inc. These revisions were brought up at a special meeting on June 7 by the council members and staff at that meeting, the legal counsel for Limerick Township and Trident Members Inc. Kirsten Musgrove and Al Burton respectively and the engineers from both the township and the developer, Chris Bent and Murray Davenport respectively. All in all, nine issues, including road maintenance and the number of construction phases were discussed and decided on by council.
Limerick Lake Estates is a budding development consisting of 118 lots, as per an OMB (now LPAT) decision from 2012. Eight of these lots closest to Limerick Lake must be monitored and tested for three years to ensure that the phosphorous standards put in place by Limerick and the Ministry of the Environment are being met and pending final approval by the OMB (now LPAT), 12 more additional lots may be approved for development. It is currently a common element condominium development, with Trident keeping ownership of the roads within the development.
Mayor Carl Stefanski began the discussion of these possible revisions to the Limerick Lake Estates by noting that there were nine separate issues to be discussed and possibly decided upon that day.
Councillor Kim Carson brought up the lack of any cost implications to any of the items, so on that basis, she was not prepared to vote on them if she didn’t have a clear idea what the cost would be.
“That was the point before. What would it cost to maintain the roads? What would it cost to change from five phases to one phase? I’m not prepared to answer any of these questions at the moment unless you can tell me what the numbers look like,” she says.
Councillor Jan MacKillican said she agreed with Carson to a point, but that there were some items, like whether to change the development from five phases of construction to one phase, that had no cost implications to the township.
Since the development was still under a condo agreement, putting all the construction into one phase versus five phases would simplify the process overall.
Council decided to go through the list, item by item and see if council accepted or rejected said items.
With regard to doing the development in one phase versus five phases, item one, council voted to accept this revision.
At the prospect of the township assuming the roads within the development once construction is completed, item two, council voted to do so eventually. MacKillican said that since the development remains a condo agreement, they ought to leave the road maintenance in the hands of the condo corporation versus taking them over.
“If they came and wanted to make it a subdivision versus a condo corporation that’s a whole different story and puts the road maintenance back on us. At this point in time, with a condo agreement, the roads are their responsibility,” she says.
Councillor Ingo Weise agreed, and said that the decision could be deferred five or ten years, and that it was not an urgent decision to make at this point. He said that eventually when all the lots are sold, the township will probably end up assuming the roads.
“[The developer] says its three seasons, but when you get that many people living in there, pretty soon they’re going to be permanent,” he says.
“And they’re taxpayers,” added Stefanski. “and will complain if we don’t maintain the roads year round.”
The next issue was whether council accepted the $75,000 that Trident offered for maintenance and local road improvements, which council voted to accept.
MacKillican said that their engineer, Chris Bent from Jewell Engineering, said that it was a good deal.
Tisdale wasn’t so sure and said that four kilometres of Old Hastings Road had been measured out and the maintenance of that stretch of road had come to $150,000, well below what Trident was offering to maintain the same distance of road within the development. Weise said that while that may be true, they shouldn’t expect Trident to pay the entire cost of maintenance, as they’re not the only ones using it. He went on to say that half that amount seemed fair to him at this point, and council agreed.
A parkland fee paid out back in 2009 was the fourth item on the list to be discussed. The question was whether the township still accepted the $8,000 that was paid 12 years ago or did they want to renegotiate it. Weise said he thought it was a moot point, as they had offered that money over a decade ago and the council at that time had accepted it.
“They met the obligation. Whether it’s $12,000 of $15,000 now, it doesn’t matter. The council of the day accepted $8,000. If they thought it was going to change, they shouldn’t have accepted it,” he says.
Council agreed and subsequently voted to accept the payment as is.
The fifth item was whether all road names were accepted and approved by the township and the county. Stefanski said there had been a change based upon a conflict with another road name in the county, and Tisdale confirmed this, saying that the new name proposed was “whippoorwill.” She said she was still waiting on the final letter regarding this change but didn’t think it would be a problem with it going through. Stefanski asked her to request a letter with regard to the name change and forward it on, which she said she would do. On that basis, council approved this item.
The sixth item was whether a maintenance guarantee should be included in with the agreements in case of condo fees being uncollected, and what the amount of this maintenance guarantee should be. Ultimately council was unsure, and decided to put this question back to their legal counsel and the legal counsel for Trident for more explanation and information to arrive at a figure on this.
The seventh item to be looked at was whether the township would accept responsibility for road maintenance, but since this was looked at and decided in item two, this item was deleted and such deletion was accepted by council.
Finding and decommissioning the abandoned wells on the Limerick Lake Estates acreage was looked at as item number eight. The question was, what was the cost to decommission them and would Trident post security to decommission these wells.
“We appreciate the input from one of our constituents as well as from you Jan, that there’s an approximate location [around four to five acres] where they may be,” said Stefanksi. “Perhaps we could hire someone with a drone to find it as assess how much it would cost to fill them in.”
MacKillican said she really didn’t think it was their issue and that it lay with Trident to find them and to decommission them.
“Perhaps we could have George help them and narrow down that area even further. But the cost is their problem. We should get a commitment in writing that they will locate them and decommission them,” she says.
Answering a question posed by Weise, what if the developer doesn’t find the wells, MacKillican pointed out it could be a liability issue later on if someone accidentally stumbles across them and falls in. Council agreed that a letter of guarantee was necessary, sent to Trident, that they would find the wells and decommission them, with help from local experts to do so if necessary.
The last item was for Limerick Lake Estates subdivision working cost to schedule review, and Stefanski asked Tisdale for more details on this.
“That was just the report from Chris Bent at Jewell Engineering about the works costs. He just weighed in on the $75,000 but we’ve already decided on that,” she says.
Council subsequently agreed to this final item. Stefanski then brought the discussion to a close, saying that took care of all the nine points they’d needed to discuss that day.
“I think it was better to go through each one and have a discussion and look at them. So, thank you for your input everyone.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times