HURON-KINLOSS – Council has approved the tender of Birnam Excavating Ltd. In the amount of $528,488 plus tax for the Bruce Municipal Drain phase one. This was the lowest of two bids, and is slightly below the engineer’s estimate of $543,880 plus tax.
The approval is subject to there being no design appeals. As was explained to council, there are two possibilities for appeals – design and assessment. An assessment appeal may not stop the project but a design appeal would. The last date to appeal the engineer’s design is Aug. 30.
Assuming the project goes ahead, the proposed start date is Nov. 1, with completion by the end of this year.
The provisional bylaw came before council later in the Aug. 16 meeting.
Ice to go in early
Not everyone is displeased that the Ripley-Huron Agricultural Society won’t be requiring the arena floor for fall fair purposes this year, due to COVID-19.
Mike Fair, community services, reported to council that various groups – Huron Bruce Minor Hockey, Ripley Figure Skating, Ripley Wolves Senior A team and the Bruce County Kings have been asking about the possibility of ice going in early at the arena. Some have confirmed bookings. The expected ice usage will exceed 40 hours per week, with accompanying revenue.
The anticipated start date for ice rentals in Ripley is Sept. 13.
Staff have been in discussion with the Lucknow and District Sports Centre staff. Ice rentals in Lucknow will start Sept. 27, the date the Huron Bruce Minor Hockey regular schedule begins.
Golf car pilot project begins
Council has authorized the Golf Car Pilot Project to begin on Sept. 7.
“A lot of hard work has gone into this,” commented Mayor Mitch Twolan.
On Aug. 9, council approved participation in the Golf Car Pilot Project in Huron-Kinloss and Pelee Island. There is a $50 annual registration fee.
Residents interested in learning more about or participating in the pilot project should note there will be a dedicated webpage on the township’s website. The page will include social media posts, newsletters and communications. Public comment forms will be available on the page to allow feedback on the pilot.
All Highway Traffic Act rules of the road apply to golf carts participating in the pilot program. Federal penalties for impaired driving also apply.
Discussion continues on feral cat issue
The issue of feeding feral cats was up for discussion once again at the Aug. 16 council meeting.
On June 21, staff was directed to bring forward a report on ways to “control the feeding and gathering of stray cats on an individual’s property” in the Point Clark area following nuisance complaints.
A proposed bylaw prohibiting the feeding of wildlife and feral animals (with accompanying fines) was discussed Aug. 4 during the meeting of the committee of the whole, and the appropriate bylaw was brought forward at the Aug. 16 council meeting.
A letter was received and discussed at the Aug. 16 meeting stating that the cats in question were neither wildlife nor feral. The writers of the letter suggested the solution would be a bylaw to control cats from running freely off the property, similar to Hanover’s cat registration system.
The staff report indicated cat registration to control the problem of cats running at large has come before council a number of times, “and was not an avenue that they wanted to pursue.” After checking with other municipalities, it was determined the best way to control the situation was a “bylaw prohibiting food from being left outdoors that may attract wildlife or potentially dangerous animals.”
The Hanover bylaw involves cat registration but says nothing about feeding multiple cats outdoors. The purpose of the registration is to return cats running at large to their owners.
Coun. Lillian Abbott summed up the opinions of several councillors, saying, “If people would stop feeding them, they’ll go away.”
The bylaw is meant to inform people what the rules are, said Matt Farrell, building and planning manager.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times