Carleton Place Council Crosses the Trail
At the Sept 8th session of the Carleton Place council committee of the whole, public works director, Guy Bourgon brought forward a detailed report on pedestrian/trail- users crossings at locations in town where the Ottawa Valley Rail Trail (OVRT) intersects with town streets and roads. His presentation was a result of a notice of motion submitted earlier this summer by councilor Linda Seccaspina. She told council at that time that she had received numerous comments and complaints from trail users regarding the lack of pedestrian crossings and the difficulties they faced regularly when trying to cross busy streets. The crossing at Moore Street was particularly troublesome she mentioned. The OVRT crosses 9 town streets within the municipal limits.
When discussed at the last committee meeting 2 weeks ago, council instructed staff to complete a detailed work plan including costs and options. That report recommended unlit pedestrian crossing signs and lane markings at Lake Ave. E., Coleman, Albert, Franklin, and Rosamund Streets to be completed this year at a total cost of $8,500. It also suggested a fully operational crossing lighting system at Moore St. which mandates vehicles give the right of way to pedestrians when the lights are flashing. The cost of that installation was pegged at $30K with plans to complete it next year. The crossing at Townline Road was not on the discussion table as that is a county controlled thoroughfare and the county is looking at installing their own pedestrian crossing there sometime in the near future. Also included in the plan was a relocation and redesign of the access from the trail to Mill Street at the old rail overpass. That will be moved to the south side of Mill Street to improve sightlines and pedestrian safety.
The committee approved the works with the addition of new warning signs for vehicles at Moore Street while waiting for a complete slgnalized crossing next year.
Garbage Relief to Stay Around a While Longer
In March of this year, shortly after the provincially ordered pandemic lock-down, Carleton Place council opted to increase the residential garage bag limit from 1 per week to 2. This was in recognition of the increased about of waste most homes were producing as a result of more people being house-bound. Public works director Guy Bourgon informed the committee of the whole on Tuesday that this move had cost the budget an additional $16K in extra tipping fees and if continued to the end of the year, the total would be about $35K. When discussing whether to continue the bag limit relief or end it, some councilors expressed concerns that a second wave of the Covid-19 virus might increase household garbage again and opted to continue the new 2 bag limit to the end of this year.
Annual Appreciation Night Cancelled
The town’s longstanding Appreciation Night is the latest event victim in the Covid-19 pandemic. On Tuesday Sept 8th at the council’s committee of the whole meeting, councilors approved the staff recommendation to officially cancel this year’s event. Over the years it had evolved into a multifaceted affair, honouring and rewarding committee volunteers, awarding town staff and councilors with various years of service and attendance presentations, and the highlight to most, the naming of the town’s citizen of the year. Staff and council will work on a virtual method of staff awards and citizen of the year presentation for 2020 (a year many would like to cancel as well).