Mayor Carl Stefanski and the Limerick Township council provided some updates on the Limerick Lake Estates at their council meeting on Feb. 22, and their planning committee meeting on March 9. In addition to the developer, Trident Members Inc., applying for a grant with Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks, to make Limerick Lake Estates an internet hotspot, with internet connectivity benefits for everyone within a 20-kilometre radius, they also agreed to pay $75,000 to the township for the maintenance of Limerick Lake Road during the construction phase of the development. The latter matter is now with the township’s legal counsel, and should be announced definitely at their next planning meeting in April.
At the council meeting, Stefanski said that he had been in touch with M.J. Davenport and Associates, the engineer for Trident Members Inc., and heard that they’d applied for a $500,000 grant from CENGN, and was looking for a letter of support from the township.
CENGN is a non-profit organization whose goal is to accelerate the growth of the Canadian information and communications technology sector, boosting economic strength and prosperity while also spurring innovation and competitiveness in the industry. As part of their mission, they are funding technology projects under the Next Generation Network Program to improve residential broadband access for northern and rural Ontario communities, so that all residents can have access to enhanced connectivity and the economic and social benefits it brings.
As part of their application to CENGN, Trident will be building a tower on the common area lands of Limerick Lake Estates, also known as a point of pressure. This tower, once complete, would provide broadband internet access and cellular phone connectivity, not only to the Limerick Lake Estates, but also regions within a 20-kilometre radius from the tower. This would include Limerick Lake, St. Ola Lake, Gilmour, Coe Hill, L’Amable, Ormsby, Wollaston, Steenburg Lake, Besemer, Glanmire, Gunter, McCrae and all points in between. With limited access to 911 by cell phone, and the need, demonstrated by COVID-19, for better home internet for online education, the potential for this proposed broadband internet connection tower could be enormous, for Limerick Lake Estates and for everyone within that 20-kilometre radius. According to Stefanski, the developer was prepared to work with the selected technology applicants to be shovel ready with this project by June 2021.
“So, they’re not asking us for any money. They’ll be doing it on their own property and they’re getting a grant for this. So, they’re just looking for a letter of support from Limerick Township,” he says.
A motion was brought forward by Councillor Kimberly Carson and seconded by Councillor Jan MacKillican, and the motion was passed to provide the letter of support.
Later in the meeting, during his Mayor’s update, Stefanski once again spoke about Trident Members Inc. and Limerick Lake Estates.
“There was one issue brought up, and Darren [Naulls, public works superintendent] is familiar with that, and it’s probably a cross between planning and roads. There was a letter from 1999 for upkeep of Limerick Lake Road and St. Ola Road from Trident,” he says.
They had a discussion about this at the Jan. 26 planning meeting, and a figure of $40,000 was floated, to raise the initial amount of $25,000 with the cost of inflation since the late 1990s.
At the last planning meeting on Feb. 9, Trident’s lawyer Al Burton had offered $75,000 for the road maintenance to Limerick Lake Road, and the matter has now gone to the township’s lawyer Kirsten Musgrove. She will be following up with the engineer, and getting back to the township at their next planning meeting.
Victoria Tisdale, the clerk and treasurer, says that the $75,000 is in the amended agreement that the lawyers will be discussing.
“After the meeting today [the planning meeting on March 9], there are some topics that need to be ironed out before approval from council is given. Because it has been a number of years since the agreements have been reviewed, some things have changed and obviously the cost of inflation needs to be taken into account,” she says. “I am hoping to have a better understanding of the revised agreement by the planning meeting on April 12, 2021.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times