Submitted by Tom Insinna
Nov.11, 2021, VOL. 3 ISSUE 6
The Director of Transportation for the Region made a presentation to Fort Erie Town Council and spoke about the projects that are being forecasted for Fort Erie. The reconstruction of Dominion Road from Washington to the Old Fort is still going ahead. Further monies were committed to this project due to the increase in costs associated with the planning and engineering. This project was to have started this Fall but will now be put off until early 2022. This is a joint project with the Niagara Parks Commission and the Town of Fort Erie. Projects that fit into the one to three-year plan were also discussed. The stretch of Bowen Road between the QEW and Ridgemount Road is slated in this time frame along with Stevensville Road from Eagle Street to Bowen Road. The bridge on Stevensville Road is one of the bridges in the Region that is rated as poor and the Director stated that it is in the active transportation plan, in other words, it is being looked at sooner than later. The CN/CP rail bridges at Thompson Road are still being looked at and consultations regarding cost sharing and planning continue. In the long-range plans, Bowen Road from the QEW to Thompson Road is being looked at along with the bridge on Dominion Road, these are 6 to 10-year forecasts. I would like to remind everyone that these plans are just that, the only project with funds attached to it, is the first one on Dominion Road. As I pointed out previously, there is no money left in the budget to fix the deteriorating infrastructure, it is going towards incentives for developers and businesses much to my dismay.
The water/wastewater and waste management budget workshop was held last week. This was a chance for Councillors to ask questions about specifics of the budget and give staff some feedback on what was proposed. Recently I was asked about our water rates, the high cost of water even though we are surrounded by it. Over the last several years upgrades to wastewater facilities, including Crystal Beach and Anger Road, have been completed along with the new facility in Niagara-on-the-Lake being built. Over $4 million is being spent on the settling lagoons in Black Creek for upgrades. Now, Regional Council approved the building of a $320 million wastewater treatment plant in Niagara Falls that would service Niagara Falls, parts of Welland and Thorold. The location of the treatment plant would service the new hospital on Montrose Road along with the proposed growth in the area. Other factors that come into play are the cost of treating drinking water and wastewater. I would not be surprised to see water/wastewater costs increase again for next year. Once the Region sets the water/wastewater rate it is then sent to the local municipalities and they too may or may not attach additional costs.
Waste management was also discussed and once again we were advised that under the new contract that was initiated last year, the costs may again go up per household. What has happened in previous years is that reserves were used in order to keep the increase in costs to a minimum.
Both water/wastewater and waste management will come before the Budget Review Committee in the coming weeks and I am sure it will be an interesting debate.
Our cases of Covid-19 continue to go down slightly but it still remains a threat to our community, please follow Public Health guidelines and wash your hands frequently, social distance and wear a mask if at all possible.
During this Remembrance Day, I would ask everyone to please observe a moment of silence to honour those who have died and those still serving in our Armed Forces. They have given so much and many paid the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to have the life that we enjoy today. If you have the opportunity to attend one of the many Remembrance Day Services it is a hard-hitting reality check, if you haven’t been to one make the time and see for yourself.
To all the Veterans and active members of our Armed Forces, Thank You For Your Service.
We will remember them.