Augusta seeks applicants for appointment to its Community Development Committee and Council reallocates funds for hot patching operations in 2020

Augusta seeks applicants for appointment to its Community Development Committee and Council reallocates funds for hot patching operations in 2020

Augusta Matters by Mayor Doug Malanka

(As published in the South Grenville Journal – Thursday, September 10, 2020)

At its Augusta Council meeting held on Monday, August 24th, 2020 Council approved a motion that established all lands within Augusta’s municipal boundaries as a Community Improvement Project Area and adopted the municipality’s first Community Improvement Plan (CIP) called In View.  The In View CIP is based on an economic development-focused community survey that polled residents on what community improvements are desired by residents and where for an ideal future.

The motion establishing the Township wide CIP also confirmed the newly minted Community Development Committee (CDC) as the Review Panel for this purpose of promoting and supporting the implementation of the CIP including reviewing CIP grant applications and disbursing CIP grant funds.

CIPs can have many benefits for the Township which include assisting with the costs of improving historic properties; promoting the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites; and revitalizing commercial, industrial, institutional, and rural areas. In addition, the Township may consider public-private partnership (P3) projects to promote redevelopment at strategic, highly visible, or otherwise prominent locations within the Township.  CIP initiatives on vacant municipal lands may include the development of community gardens to encourage urban agriculture, local food production, and environmentally sustainable practices with health, social, and economic benefits.  When local streets are being considered and prioritized for road works, the Township can consider implementing streetscape improvements in conjunction with other construction, such as planting of street trees, rehabilitation of sidewalks, development of trails and cycling lanes, installation of street furniture, and other decorative elements such as planters, banners, and hanging flower baskets.

Skills required for members include interest and active participation toward improving the quality of life in Augusta; knowledge and understanding of community and social issues; communication skills; and networking skills or creative thinking.  The committee meets once a month or at the call of the Chair.  If you’re interested in participating in this important work for the community, an application can be submitted to the Township Clerk, Annette Simonian either by mail, by dropping the application form in the drop box in the front lobby of the Township office or by emailing it to asimonian@augusta.ca.

On a different subject, Council also approved the re‑allocation of funds budgeted for crack sealing in 2020 to road patching operations on the Weir Road in the amount of $50,000, at its Council meeting held on Monday, August 24th, 2020.  Public Works Manager, Brad Thake, advised Council that the 2020 Public Works budget includes $50,000 for crack sealing which is a road preservation technique of applying hot liquid tar to fill in cracks on roads. Mr. Thake explained that Augusta Township was under the County contract for crack sealing, but the County is not moving forward with the contract in 2020 and it is too late in the season to organize a tender on our own.  Instead, Mr. Thake recommended Council reallocate the funds for hot mix patching of the Weir Road.  Hot mix patching is another road preservation technique that can be effectively applied later into the fall and consists of spreading hot asphalt mix on poor sections of a road.  Mr. Thake told Council that the Weir Road was previously scheduled for a full pulverization and resurfacing in 2019 but it is his view that most of this road is in good condition and funds would be better spent hot mix patching the road only.  He stated that the proposed hot patching will extend the life of those sections of the road 5-6 years at a fraction of the cost of a full pulverization and resurfacing and a full rehabilitation can then be included in the longer-term capital asset management planning.