Fireworks approved on Labour Day holiday

By Sue Tiffin

The following are brief reports of items discussed during an Aug. 25 meeting of Dysart et al council.  

Council voted six to one with Councillor John Smith being the single nay vote in changing the wording of a fireworks bylaw to include Labour Day weekend as being an approved time for use of fireworks. 

“I find it ironic if inconsistent that we would have a bylaw that acknowledges that fireworks have the potential to pollute the air, pollute the water, blah blah blah, and that we wish to take action to placate the risks to humans, animals and environmental health, and we’re expanding the occasions on which people can set up fireworks,” said Smith. “It’s remarkable, and I’ve had absolutely no one approach me in the past couple of years and say, gee, it would be terrific if I could light off fireworks on Labour Day weekend.”  

The Labour Day amendment to the bylaw allows for fireworks use between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on the weekend preceding and including the statutory holiday. It also allows for permitted use of fireworks on days on or around Canada Day depending on the day of the week on which the holiday falls.

Dignan Road to be rehabilitated

Staff said they were “fairly confident” rehabilitation work on Dignan Road could be completed by the end of September at a cost of $212,000, or failing that, preparation work could be completed this fall with completion of the hard top in spring 2021. The road was assessed to be a good candidate for rehabilitation.

“It has an average pavement condition index of 44, which is considered ‘poor,’ and has steep road grades throughout much of the road,” reads a report from Rob Camelon, director of public works. “The 2020 traffic count, taken near Hodgson Road, is 133 and has an operating speed of 55 kilometres an hour.” 

“It’s surprising that Dignan Road has been on council’s agenda for about the last six or seven years at least,” said Deputy Mayor Patrick Kennedy. “So if we have an opportunity to put this one behind us I’m all in favour of it.” 

Council approved the project, with the funding drawn from the development reserve.  

Klondike Road parking to be improved

Parking will be expanded in the area of Klondike Road at a cost of $20,000.

“Parking, or lack thereof, on Klondike Road has been a concern of road users for several years,” reads director of public works Rob Camelon’s report. “The end of the road has a boat launch used to access Redstone Lake but does not have a defined parking area for day users of the launch, leading to congestion over the summer months.”

The improvements will be funded by the development reserve at a cost of about $20,000.
“Proposed work will include property line retracement, tree removal, grubbing and rock removal by mechanical means,” said Camelon’s report. “Blasting is likely required to achieve the final grade and has not been considered in this initial cost. It is anticipated that the work will accommodate parking for up to 10 vehicles adjacent Klondike Rd.” 

Staff will update council on the work at the October meeting.

A.J. LaRue arena plans

Dysart staff is preparing to resume bookings for the A. J. LaRue arena. 

“That’s going to look very, very different from other years, but it’s essential that we offer this recreational service in our community and that we do it safely,” said Roberts.

Roberts said the municipality is also planning to offer a work station area in the upstairs of the arena, which could be booked at what Roberts said would be a “fairly minimal” hourly rate, and would offer access to quality wi-fi. She noted updates about the reopening and the use of space, planned to begin in the middle of September, would be posted on the municipality’s social media pages.

“So those people who are still here in their seasonal homes and want to stay through the fall, and need better internet, we’re going to be offering that,” said Roberts.

Mayoral greetings

In a message to those watching the live streaming council meeting and fellow councillors, Mayor Andrea Roberts said she hoped everyone had a safe and healthy summer. 

“It certainly was a different one, but we’ve had beautiful weather up here in Dysart and we’re very, very lucky to live where we are,” said Roberts. She also shared a message with teachers, students and parents of students preparing to return to school. 

“I’m sure it’s been a very difficult and stressful time, so we wish you all the best and we wish everyone a safe return back to school,” she said.