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Oakwood Rd. designated as detour route

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Oakwood Road will be used as a temporary detour route this summer so work can be done on Highway 602.

After reviewing a request from Engineering Northwest Ltd. (ENL), town council on Monday night granted permission to the Ministry of Transportation to use the town’s portion of Oakwood Road, between Colonization Road West and Highway 11, as a detour route so Highway 602 can be closed between Bone Road and Oakwood Road for a two- to three-week period in July or August.

A culvert is being replaced on that portion of Highway 602.

Coun. Paul Ryan clarified the town has given permission to have the detour, but the MTO has stated in its contract that the detour is maintained by the successful contractor that’s going to do the work on Highway 602, it will be at no cost to the town, and the road will be left in the same condition it was found in once the work is completed.

Since the Township of Alberton shares a boundary road agreement with the town in regards to Oakwood Road, ENL also will make a similar request to them.

In other news, the town’s Operations and Facilities executive committee has reviewed draft copies of new Canadian Railway-Roadway Grade Crossing Standards (CRRGCS) and the Railway-Roadway Grade Crossings (RRGC) policy, and found they “will satisfy the needs of the community.”

Committee chair Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft noted the proposed regulations “confirm what we already knew—that a train cannot stand still for longer than five minutes at a crossing and that it cannot obstruct a crossing for greater than 10 minutes.”

Council agreed to a recommendation of the Operations and Facilities executive committee stating the town will meet CRRGCS standards and RRGC policy once they become law.

But the committee also directed the town to update its website to show how to properly report train operations that do not adhere to these standards.

Meanwhile, Mayor Roy Avis announced Monday night that town administration will present the 2012 budget at the March 26 council meeting, after which time council will vote on a bylaw to adopt it.

The public is invited to hear the presentation on the budget, as well as make written or oral presentations to council in support of or opposition to the proposed budget.

For more information, the public is encouraged to contact treasurer Laurie Witherspoon at 274-5323 ext. 248.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council:

  • approved travel and per diem claims for Mayor Avis ($1,536.55), Coun. John Albanese ($1,856.80), and Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft ($1,497.05) for attending the annual OGRA/ROMA conference Feb. 26-29 in Toronto;
  • approved a travel claim for Fort Frances CAO Mark McCaig ($335) to attend the OGRA/ROMA conference;
  • accepted the federal gas tax and federal public transit audited statements for the year ending Dec. 31, 2011, and further that an invoice for audited services be paid;
  • agreed to allocate funds from the general revenue fund in the amount of $1,712.75 and $62,511.45 from reserve funds to finance 2011 capital fund expenditures;
  • directed that any available members of council may attend the Northern Ontario Municipal Association conference April 25-27 in Kenora and the Northwestern Ontario Regional Conference (NWORC) on Sept. 26-28 in Thunder Bay; and
  • received an invitation from the Assisted Living Group (ALAG) re: a strategic planning meeting set for March 26 (Coun. Andrew Hallikas confirmed he will attend, although any available member of council also may do so).
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