Council to hold meeting on Gooderham post office

By Chad Ingram

Sept. 20 2016

The following are brief reports of items from a Sept. 12 Highlands East council meeting.

There will be a public meeting on the future of the Gooderham post office at the Lloyd Watson Centre on 7 p.m. on the evening of Sept. 26. The regular council meeting for that day will also be held in the evening at 6 p.m. at the Lloyd Watson Centre.

In the spring the township announced it would be terminating its dealership agreement with Canada Post. Under that agreement the township has been operating the post office in the hamlet since the 1990s.

The township is hoping Canada Post will be able to relocate to a business as is done in Wilberforce West Guilford and other villages.

“Currently Canada Post continues to work on a solution for the Gooderham post office” chief administrative officer Shannon Hunter told councilllors.

Hunter said a petition of nearly 400 signatures had also been received by the township residents requesting a meeting.

While it was initially suggested that meeting be held during council’s next regular meeting Deputy-reeve Suzanne Partridge suggested the meeting take place during the evening.

“Having it at 10 o’clock in the morning precludes anyone with a job from attending” Partridge said.

Places for People eyes Wilberforce

County-based not-for-profit housing organization Places for People is planning its next project for Wilberforce.

A property off of Holmes Road is being rezoned to allow for the construction of a duplex.

Places for People operates subsidized rental housing for low-income individuals. This will be the organization’s first project in Highlands East.

It currently operates one building in each of the townships of Dysart et al Algonquin Highlands and Minden Hills.

$8 million in new construction

Some $8 million in new construction is expected to take place in Highlands East this year.

“Lots of new homes going up this year” chief building official Laurie Devolin told council. “New homes and cottages.”

During a presentation from Nathan Martin of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation councillors were told that property values in the township were expected to increase by 2.3 per cent a year during the new assessment period which runs until 2020.

MPAC sent out assessment notices for residential properties beginning in July.

The average value of a residential property in the township is $139000 $285000 for the average waterfront property.

Support for solar projects

Councillors granted support resolutions for three solar projects being proposed by Toronto-based Abundant Solar Energy Inc. under the province’s feed-in tariff (FIT) program. The small-FIT project would each be up to five acres in size one in the Anderson Lake area and two in the area of Haddington Road. Support resolutions from local councils does not mean that projects will proceed but gains them “priority points” within the province’s approval process. Projects must comply with regulations including 30-metre setbacks from adjacent properties and visual screening requirements.