Mono council set the ball rolling toward updating how it disposes municipal land.
The need to update the Disposition of Town Lands Policy was debated during council’s June 28 public meeting. A resident’s proposal to buy a portion of unopened road at 5th Line and 15th Sideroad was also up for discussion during the meeting.
“Nothing should be taken from the fact both appear on the same agenda,” said Mayor John Creelman.
He said one agenda item dealt with updating a policy that hasn’t been revisited since 1995. The other item is a resident’s request that was made about a year ago.
“The request is coming up on one year and I think that’s long enough for anyone to wait for a determination one way or another,” the mayor said.
The unopened road allowance is about 1.1 km long. It quickly descends about 15 metres and contains several deviations as you move south to the junction with 15 Sideroad.
The Mono policy closely mirrors how many other municipalities deal with unopened road allowances and surplus land.
The declaration of surplus happens more often than people realize, Mayor Creelman said. It’s usually done to clean up survey mistakes and to rationalize property lines.
Councillor Ralph Manktelow said there’s been reaction from many residents in the 15th Sideroad area about the road allowance and its use.
“It’s apparent to me that residents consider land to be a very important thing ... and something they’d like to have some input into,” he said.
Indeed, council has received a number of letters from people who want unopened road allowances in Mono to remain public property. Such land is used by people riding horses and all-terrain vehicles, hikers, and snowmobiles in winter. People like to snowshoe and cross-county ski in the area in question.
“It’s town land, so it’s everybody’s land,” said Coun. Melinda Davie. “Everybody has a stake in it.”
The mayor said council should have an updated policy before any public consultation on the issue takes place.
“We’ve always erred on the side of public consultation,” said Mark Early, the town’s CAO.
James Matthews, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen