Augusta Township faces opposing views regarding Counties Roads
Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka
On Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, Augusta Council held its first regular meeting of Council since the election. The agenda for the meeting included two delegations. One of the delegations was presented by two Maitland residents who submitted a petition to Council signed by some 196 Maitland residents. The petition asks that the speed limit on County Road 2 between County Road 15 and Irace Drive be reduced to 60 km/hr, that signage be erected to make motorists aware of walkers, pedestrians and cyclists, and that the complete section be designed as an no‑passing zone. In support of their petition, the residents cited numerous automobile accidents that have occurred in this location, and numerous near misses where residents were nearly struck as they walked along the stretch or were entering or leaving their driveways. The two residents also held that the shoulder of the road needs to be paved for the safety of cyclists. I informally raised the matter with Counties immediately following the Township meeting and ask that Counties staff look into the matter and advise what could be done. During my conversation with Counties staff, I was reminded of a principal that I have heard repeated in the past that Counties Roads are meant to carry traffic quickly across the County and that speed limitations are inconsistent with that overall objective. The challenge though is that many County Roads, especially County Road 2, have become more populated over time to the point where speed on the roadway poses risk to the health and safety of residents. Residents thanked the OPP for the enforcement that they have observed following their initial complaint but felt more enforcement action must be taken. Augusta will be formally asking Counties to look into the matter and report but Counties ensured that they won’t wait for the formal request before commencing.
A second delegation was presented by Mr. Vince Aldridge on the subject of trash being stored on an Augusta Township property. Mr. Aldridge told Council that he was representing the plea of a resident he met during his election campaign for Council to take action to prohibit residents from dumping trash on their properties. The principal challenge for the Township to effectively deal with such circumstances is the absence of even a minimal a property standard. In 2015, Township staff had prepared a draft property standard for consideration by Council, however, Council declined to even consider the motion. CAO Ray Morrison told Mr. Aldridge that he would look into the matter to see if anything can be done to improve things without a property standard and report to Council at its next meeting. However, the only way that the Township can effectively deal with this is to have a property standard that deals with trash being left on properties.
On another matter, Augusta Council received an encouraging report from Municipal staff on the status of the Township’s new Facebook page. According to the report, Augusta Township launched its official Facebook page on July 11, 2018. The goal of the Township’s Facebook page is to share information important to Augusta residents and the Township has been sharing two new posts per day with one in the morning and one on the afternoon. Occasionally, a third post is issued in the evening when required. According to the report, all Township departments have contributed posts and the Facebook page is used on Thursdays to spotlight an Augusta business. I encourage residents to look at the Township’s Facebook page and let us know through the Page what you think and how the service could be improved.
Finally, Council chose to defer a motion that would authorize the Mayor and the Clerk to enter into an agreement with OPP for the provision of Police Services effective from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2022. Council opined that the new Council should decide how long the contract should be in force. The delay does not create any difficulties.