Council okays financial assistance for YDHR
by Roger Varley
Uxbridge council decided Monday to provide up-front funding to assist the York Durham Heritage Railway (YDHR) in paving an area just north of the railway station to provide for additional parking.
Two reports to council – one from Chief Administrative Officer Ingrid Svelnis and one from treasurer Donna Condon – both addressed the issue of providing assistance to YDHR.
The Svelnis report said YDHR had asked that Uxbridge pay the $70,000 cost of the paving up front, with YDHR to repay the amount by the end of the year. According to the report, YDHR would use money realized from the imposition of a five-per-cent levy on ticket sales to make the repayment.
The question of the levy was addressed in the Condon report. She said YDHR would provide a monthly report on the funds raised by the levy – to be called the Train Station Improvement Levy – with the funds being placed into a Train Station Improvement Fund Reserve, whose purpose would be to fund major station renovations and enhancement projects. Condon said YDHR had proposed such projects could include the paved parking lot, construction of a $200,000 workshop building (to work on locomotives), a picnic area on the site of the soon-to-be-demolished red barn at $20,000 and the installation of lighting for the new parking lot, with an estimated cost of $45,000. Further, her report said YDHR wants the Township to front end these capital improvement projects, should sufficient funds not be in the Reserve at the time a project commences.
Condon also recommended that council approve creation of a Train Station Improvement Fund Reserve and tell staff to bring in a by-law to enact such a reserve.
Councillor Bruce Garrod cautioned his colleagues to move slowly: “don’t rush into it.” Regional Councillor Gord Highet suggested the first priority at YDHR should be to remove or refurbish the old train carriages already sitting on site. However, council agreed to put up half the requested parking lot sum, with YDHR to provide the other $35,000 before the paving starts.
TOWN HALL – Notes from the July 15 Council Meeting
by Roger Varley
Don’t count your chickens yet: Chief By-law Officer Kristina Bergeron submitted a report to council suggesting that township residents should be surveyed to obtain their views on chickens in residential areas. Currently, Uxbridge allows chickens to be kept only on farms or other rural properties.
Bergeron said public input is important on “a proposal of this magnitude.”
Her report said no other municipalities in Durham Region allow chickens in residential areas, but noted they are allowed in several Ontario communities, including Toronto and Newmarket.
The last time council addressed the subject was in June 2014, when it decided to maintain the restriction.
Get pumped up: The Uxbridge Optimists pushed the pump park proposed for the Fields of Uxbridge further ahead Monday with the presentation to council of a cheque for $50,000. The payment was two-thirds of the $75,000 the club has committed to the project.
Meanwhile, the pump park committee will hold an open house at the seniors’ centre from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday to show the design plans for the new facility. The open house will include the installation of a portable mini pump track on the baseball field next to Uxpool, with the public encouraged to try it out.
Four at once – we’re not ‘kid’ding!
Late last Thursday evening, Forsythe Family Farms (located just west of Greenbank) experienced an anomaly in the animal world – the birth of quadruplet kids.
Goats often give birth to twins, but the odds of a goat giving birth to quadruplets is about one in 10,000.
According to a birth announcement from Forsythe Family Farms, the kids, who have yet to be named, are healthy and feeding well. The mother goat – Nanny – is reportedly receiving some help from the farm crew, who is taking turns to bottle feed the new arrivals.
YOU’RE SEEING QUADRUPLE – Four baby goats, or kids, were born to one mother last week at Forsythe Family Farms, located outside of Greenbank. The odds of a goat having quadruplets are approximately one in 10,000. Submitted photo
The farm is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the public is welcome to come and visit the four kids, along with other farm animals and their young.
Forsythe Family Farm 2009 Inc. has been growing since 1972, with a goal to being sustainable in all aspects – in the community, environmentally and economically. They are known for encouraging community members to support one other through the Giving Garden, which is a one and a half acre plot of land that people can help cultivate, grow and harvest vegetables to give to those needing a hand up. https://forsythefamilyfarms.com
100 Men Who Care Uxbridge recently donated $3,400 to the Memorial Sculpture Project at the Uxbridge Public Library. According to Corrinne Morrison, program and outreach coordinator at the Library, this donation, when combined with many individual donations that the Project has received, puts the Library “very close” to its fundraising goal for the sculpture.
From left: 100 Men members Mike Kilty, Darren Gilroy, and Chuck Heroux; Willie Popp, Library Board member; Corrinne Morrison;
Gary Ruona, Library Board member; and 100 Men member Francois Bessay.
The Memorial Sculpture Project was launched with the commission of a piece that would reinforce the role of libraries in our communities and also act as a remembrance of Alexandra Hartmann, Uxbridge Public Library CEO from 2003 to 2018. Local sculptor Wynn Walters is creating the piece, which will hopefully be unveiled in September. Submitted photo