Quarterly Building Report
Perth’s Chief Building Official, Brian Gass delivered his third quarter report to the committee on Tuesday, Nov 16th. While the number of building permits issued had actually gone down slightly compared to last year, the value of what’s being constructed has skyrocketed. In the first three quarters of last year that dollar amount was calculated to be $8.8M. For the same period this year it’s over $32.9M. Fees collected by the town for building permits and development charges ballooned by an equally impressive amount, going from $208K last year to $948K this year.
Heavy Truck Ban on Gore St up for discussion again
Perth’s Director of Environmental Services, Grant Machan brought his traffic study to the committee as requested by council earlier this fall. It involved a traffic count in October which revealed that 3-4% of the daily 8,400 vehicles that travelled down Gore Street in the downtown sector were heavy trucks. It also stated that without a proper parallel bypass route, diverting heavy trucks to other streets was problematic and would require infrastructure and enforcement resources. Councilor David Bird remarked that shifting heavy truck traffic off of Gore Street would move the problem to residential streets. Mayor John Fenik, who had a heavy truck driver give him a personal demonstration of the difficulty in following the town’s recommended route down Chetwynd Street, commented that the westerly turn onto Craig Street was impossible to make without taking up both lanes. In the end, the committee requested staff to estimate the cost of re-engineering that intersection to improve the turning radius and report back.
One step closer to a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
The committee of the whole took another crack at putting a COVID-19 vaccination policy in place for town staff and councilors. At the most previous discussion to Nov 16th, there seemed to be consensus to develop a two-level policy that would permit those not fully vaccinated to still work at the town by completing regular rapid testing at the employees’ expense. Frontline workers wouldn’t have that opportunity but rather face termination if not fully immunized. This version failed to achieve consensus. Mayor Fenik stressed that only a universal system that applied equally to all employees would be effective and that Smiths Falls, Carleton Place, and Mississippi Mills had already enacted such regulations. In the end staff were directed to bring back for a vote a mandatory policy to cover everyone, but giving the CAO some discretion in terminating an employee who refused to get the required shots.
Perthmore Pathway brings debate
Staff brought forward a request to include $70K in the 2022 budget to construct and maintain a pathway to the Perthmore subdivision between Senators Gate and Decaria Boulevard. Due to the narrow nature of the municipal easement and the close proximities of some homes, the proposal would not involve winter snow clearing due to the lack of space to pile the white stuff. Residents along the pathway were of mixed opinions according to the staff report, with some wishing for a fully maintained trail and others with homes very close to the property line opposing it to avoid unintentional trespassing. After discussion the committee approved putting a line item in next year’s budget to construct a fence on one side of the pathway, but not to maintain it as an active walkway.