Perth County County Briefs: Official Plan changes, PC Connect, elevator and Perth Road 139 updates

·3 min read

PERTH COUNTY – Perth County council on April 21 covered topics including proposed changes to the Official Plan regarding wind turbines, updates on PC Connect, the courthouse elevator project, and tender results for Perth Road 139, among other things.

Changes to Official Plan regarding wind turbines

Following various meetings with municipalities in Perth County, Warren Howard of Elma Mornington Concerned Citizens presented to council on the issues regarding wind turbines. The group was formed in 2011 in response to a project covering Elma and Mornington townships.

Howard presented on the issues of wind turbines and community opposition to them. He requested that council “update the Official Plan and start the process of zoning bylaws.” Despite Perth County declaring itself “unwilling hosts” to wind turbines in 2014, Howard points out that the Official Plan currently encourages development of wind turbines. Not only that, but it allows turbines to be built on prime agricultural land and projects can proceed without municipal input.

Council was receptive to the presentation, voting unanimously to receive the presentation and have staff prepare a report on the Official Plan. Currently, the county is consulting with an expert to work on the plan. They will reach out to them for advice on this issue “as soon as possible.”

PC Connect March update

Perth County Connect has serviced 5,435 rides to date, according to the March update. They offered free rides on March 18 for Transit Appreciation Day, with 61 riders taking advantage of the service. They also hosted a public survey that reached over 300 participants, with more information available in the next few months.

Due to COVID-19 complications and isolation periods, there was an issue with keeping routes going. The situation is improving, the report says, so it will hopefully be a non-issue soon.

Perth County elevator debenture

Elgin Contracting & Restoration Ltd. was awarded the construction of the elevator in the Courthouse, with engineering and project management services being provided by NA Engineering. The county also approved the debenture of the elevator for $1,285,000 at an interest rate of 3.52 per cent for a period of 10 years. The report, prepared by Corey Bridges, manager of finance/treasurer, reads:

“The original budget for the project was set a $1,500,000. After the tendering process was completed and the vendor was selected, the amount of the project was adjusted to $1,285,000. Normally, municipalities would debenture the cost of the project at the end, but with the forecasted increases in interest rates coming in 2022, Finance staff recommend the debenture of the capital work for the project now… Interest rate for the debenture has been confirmed and set with Infrastructure Ontario at a rate of 3.52 per cent. Based on a 10 year amortization, payments would be set at $153,556 annually. The interest to be paid over the 10 year period is $250,561.”

Perth Road 139 contract awarded to Walker Construction Ltd.

The county awarded tender to Walker Construction Ltd. regarding installation of Stress Absorbing Membrane Layer (SAMI) on Perth Road 139 – from St. Mary’s to Whalen Line. Walker Construction, based out of Niagara Falls, was the only bid with a tendered price of $339,500. As the report says, “staff are confident that the unit rate pricing remains fair and competitive,” even though they were the only bid. Walker Construction is known by the county, having previously done numerous projects for them and their municipalities. The report notes that Walker Construction has previously provided a SAMI application in 2018 on Perth Road 135. $1.2 million was allocated for the rehabilitation project of Perth Road 139.

Coming in under budget, the remaining capital funds will go towards surface paving and shoulder material.

Connor Luczka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner

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