Sand, inspector among council topics

Gillies, Ont. — A weed inspector, new tire quotes and loads of sand. Thus is township business in some rural communities surrounding Thunder Bay.

The Township of Gillies held a regular council meeting on Monday where bylaws were passed, meeting minutes adopted and correspondence read, but issues that are paramount to countryside hamlets were also on the agenda to be solved.

Gillies doesn’t have a weed inspector as required by municipal law as of yet and time is running out with spring ready to make its appearance next Monday.

“It’s a real strenuous job,” quipped veteran Coun. Rudy Buitenhuis. “I think maybe once in 25 years that they’ve actually had to do anything.”

Council decided on advertising in their township newsletter to fill the volunteer position.

A new tire for the township work truck was also discussed. Gillies council received quotes from tire firms in Thunder Bay and Winnipeg, deciding to buy local.

“The (quote) from Winnipeg is twice as much,” said Buitenhuis. “And they’ve still got to get it here. I’m assuming we want to go with the local offer.”

The new tire and rim will go right on the truck immediately with an older tire on the vehicle being used as a spare.

Road sand is crucial during winter in rural communities and Gillies is no different.

Although this winter hasn’t been as brutal regarding snowfall in Thunder Bay and surrounding municipalities/townships compared to other years, Gillies council wanted to stay on top of the sand situation by topping it up.

“We’re almost out of sand,” said longtime Gillies Coun. Bill Groenheide. “We have enough we figure to make it to year end. Otherwise we’re going to have to go (to a local sand supplier) and get some sand, but right now we have about 10 loads left.”

Council decided to obtain a few more loads of sand to see the township through the last snowfall.

Also pertaining to the township’s infrastructure, Groenheide said ditches on the sides of the roads will be inspected for future repairs when the snow evaporates.

A pay equity committee was also formed Monday with Gillies Reeve Wendy Wright, who was not in attendance for Monday’s meeting, clerk-deputy treasurer Laura Bruni, treasurer-deputy clerk Lynda Lex and Coun. Daniel Vanlenthe being part of the task force.

A pair of bylaws were also passed with Bruni being appointed clerk-deputy treasurer and Lex being appointed treasurer-deputy clerk.

John Nagy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal