First council meeting of 2022 contains good news for Brockton

·2 min read

BROCKTON – Mayor Chris Peabody noted prior to Tuesday night’s council meeting that the agenda contained some “good news” stories – a great start to the new year.

One was in the area of recreation – a plan for a groomed cross-country ski trail.

“It’s a great initiative,” the mayor said.

He said the skating oval in Lobies Park is “coming along.”

Another item on the agenda involved Hanover Neustadt Snowmobile Club’s proposed trail. Peabody said that Gregg Furtney, director of operations, met onsite this past Sunday with both sides. There’s no longer an issue, the mayor said.

“The club will not be re-routing the trail in that spot,” he said.

Another bit of positive news is the building report – $57 million in construction values. Peabody said that the lack of affordable housing continues to be an issue, but there are several projects “on the horizon” involving rentals.,

In addition, the upcoming ROMA conference will involve meetings through both the municipality and county with Steve Clark, Ontario’s housing minister. One such meeting will address Brockton’s request for an MZO (Ministerial Zoning Order) for East Ridge Business Park. An MZO is a planning tool that allows a municipality to bypass local zoning rules.

The other meeting will see the county’s planning director, Mark Paoli, meet with the housing minister in an effort to amend the provincial policy statement (PPS) that requires a regional approach to planning. According to Peabody, the situation set out in the Watson Report effectively limits Brockton’s ability to allow new housing developments while requiring it to provide industrial land for development.

The hope is “to get the PPS changed in advance of the new Official Plan.”

A local bylaw prevents the construction of a modern-style gas bar with convenience store. This matter is also on the council meeting’s agenda – Peabody said there has been interest expressed in building a gas bar with convenience store.

There’ll be additional information in next week’s Walkerton Herald-Times.

Brockton council continues to work at getting the emergency room at South Bruce Grey Health Centre’s Walkerton site restored to 24/7 service. Peabody said he’s met with “the other municipalities (South Bruce and Arran-Elderslie).” The county already supports Brockton’s efforts while the two municipalities have yet to hold council meetings.

Hanover also supports Brockton’s efforts.

“With the county and Hanover onside, I hope we can move ahead,” the mayor said.

He added that he’ll also be quite interested in a county report on the other health-care issue that’s on everyone’s mind – COVID. Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health for Grey-Bruce, will be presenting his regular report on Thursday to Bruce County council.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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