King Street parkette on the chopping block – again
by Roger Varley
Council is about to tackle a subject that has proven difficult for previous Uxbridge councils – the selling of the Kind Street park.
Council received two reports on the park on Monday from clerk Debbie Leroux and arena manager Bob Ferguson. Leroux noted the first attempt to sell the park in 1983 was met with strong resident opposition, as were subsequent attempts. The last time the small park was on the chopping block, in 2014, the township’s planning consultant, Elizabeth Howson, advised that an application for rezoning the small park to allow its sale for residential purposes be refused and further recommended that the township “meet with the residents of the surrounding neighbourhood to review options for the improvement and ongoing maintenance of the park.”
Leroux noted, however, that the 2018 Parks Master Plan review identified the King Street park as one of a number of small urban parks that should be considered for sale.
Ferguson’s report spoke of the state of disrepair at the park, noting trees need thinning and a fence and retaining wall need to be repaired. He said the park, the size of a normal housing lot, features only an aging swing set and a sand box.
Both reports said the park receives little use. While the body of Leroux’s report contained a recommendation that the park be sold, the report’s actual recommendations merely asked for council’s direction on what should be done with the park. Ferguson’s report also asked for direction.
Ward 5 Councillor Todd Snooks said any money realized from the sale of the park should be turned into the parks department budget. Chief Administrative Officer Ingrid Svelnis replied that the parks master plan had already stated that’s where the money should go.
Council decided to ask staff for another report on the park and that such a report contain staff’s recommendations.
Culvert work continues covertly
Although there doesn’t appear to be much going on above ground, township staff guarantee that a lot of preparatory work is occurring to get ready for the actual laying of the culvert.
A “Construction Schedule Highlights,” released on May 8, outlines that crews are currently preparing to excavate for the new culvert by installing a “de-watering system” which will remove groundwater from the future excavation sites. This de-watering involves drilling vertical wells along the path of the culvert and installing pumps and pipes that will remove the excess water. After this, shoring will be installed along the excavation route, which will reinforce the walls of the excavation.
In last week’s Cosmos, Roger Varley said in his column “Am I Wrong?” that work on the culvert wouldn’t start until late July or early August. Colleen Baskin, communications officer for the township, quickly contacted the Cosmos, clarifying that the culvert will actually be installed north of Brock Street well before the summer months because “it has to be built from north to south to maintain the water flow of the Brook through the culvert during construction.”
For more information on the culvert and the building process, visit uxbridgeculvert.ca
by Roger Varley
Notes from the May 13 Council Meeting
Speed limit of 30 km/h?: Council passed a resolution saying the township will lobby the provincial government to change the Highway Traffic Act to make the speed limit on all local residential streets 30 km/h while allowing municipalities to increase that speed on a case-by-case basis through local bylaws.
The resolution also called for the province to let Uxbridge be used as a pilot project for such a move.
Snooks says sorry: Councillor Snooks offered a report to council in which he apologized for missing five of the 22 council meetings that have been held since the last municipal election.
Snooks said two of the absences were because he was out of the country and the other three meetings were missed because of his job as a York Region police officer. He said he wanted to assure Uxbridge residents and his Ward 5 constituents that “I will do everything within my power to minimize future missed meetings.”
“I can’t promise to be at every single meeting, but I will be at most,” he told council.
Union contract settled: Council passed a bylaw authorizing a three-year contract with the township’s unionized employees, members of Local 53 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
However, no details of the contract were released. Mayor Dave Barton said those details will be made public in the near future after all the necessary documents have been signed.
Cannabis policy adopted: In a recorded vote, council also passed a bylaw to put in place the Uxbridge Retail Cannabis Policy presented to them last week by deputy clerk Catalina Blumenberg.
Among other things, the policy states that a retail cannabis store should not be allowed within a 150-metre radius of “special uses” facilities. Those special uses include daycares, libraries, the arena, Uxpool, township parks, the Uxbridge Youth Centre and places of worship.
Regional Councillor Gord Highet called for the recorded vote. He was the only member of council to vote against adopting the bylaw.
Former Bruins defenceman dies in car accident
A former defenceman for the Uxbridge Bruins was killed early Monday morning when the car he was driving lost control and struck a tree on Reach Street, just west of Epsom.
According to a police report, Dylan Ross, 24, was travelling eastbound on Reach St. when his Pontiac Vibe left the road and hit a large tree. Police believe unfavorable weather and road conditions may have been a mitigating factor in the accident.
First responders attended the scene within minutes and provided medical assistance. Ross was transported to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Ross was a defenceman for the Uxbridge Bruins for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 seasons.
This is the sixth fatal collision on roadways patrolled by the DRPS in 2019.
Anyone with information about this incident or anyone who witnessed this collision is asked to call D/Cst. Scott of the Traffic Services Branch at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 5217.
Anonymous information can be sent to Durham Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a $2,000 cash reward.
Join USS for its first annual Tiger Cure Cup fundraiser
The Relay For Life committee at Uxbridge Secondary School is holding the first annual Tiger Cure Cup on Friday, May 17, in support of their upcoming Relay For Life event.
The new fundraiser will take place at the Uxbridge Secondary School track, where, from 1:45 to 3 p.m., participants can pay $5 to support the boy’s rugby game and enjoy the pizza and ice cream available for sale. A portion of all proceeds from sales will go towards the school’s fundraising goal of $25,000, all of which will be donated directly to the Canadian Cancer Society.
The Tiger Cure Cup is the second fundraiser event organized by the school. Its goal is to help build anticipation for the upcoming 12- hour Relay For Life cancer fundraiser, which happens Friday, May 31, at Uxbridge Secondary School. At this event, staff and students rally together to walk laps of the school track, partake in fun activities and celebrate those who have or are fighting cancer.
All staff, students and especially community members are invited and encouraged to come support the Tiger Cure Cup and Relay For Life events.