Wednesday, August 23, 2017

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Opinions expressed in letters to the editor are those of the letter authors and not of The Meaford Independent.

Editor,

The proposal to make the operation of the waste treatment plant a municipal employee function rather than a contracted function smacks of empire building by staff. Adding two more full time employees to the already bloated municipality headcount is lunacy.

Of course staff will claim savings with this move but that is pure equine excrement.

It is common knowledge that civil service jobs are outpacing the private sector in compensation and benefits. Already, almost half of the Municipality of Meaford’s tax revenue goes towards staff compensation. Is it therefore any surprise that bridge and road infrastructure are neglected?

Many members of this Council were elected because rural infrastructure was crumbling and they campaigned to do something about it, so what gives?

In 2011 we were told that $20 million was required over the next ten years for bridge issues and that $1.1 million was needed over the next two years on bridges 21 and 22. We had an election in 2014 and still no action on these bridges.

In mid-2016 another infrastructure report now tells us that we need to spend $30 million over the next ten years and these two bridges are now closed and would cost $2.5 million to replace So what does Council decide to do but ask for another consultant’s study! Seems to me that quite a few on Council campaigned in the last election against the over-use of consultants.

Now, Council’s latest move to request another study on bridges 21 and 22 means that these bridges will be closed until mid-2019 if the decision is to repair rather than replace since inexpensive repairs can only be done in mild weather. This staff could never move quickly enough to get things done this year, a specification and request for quote would take all of 2017 and tendering and selection would use up half of 2018. Those poor folks who rely on bridges 21 and 22 should continue to agitate this Council.

This Council and staff want to close this road and avoid bridge replacement/repair. All these stalling tactics are an attempt appear to be doing something. There are not many votes at stake when you inconvenience 25 rural folk. Better to spend on urban dreams like libraries, theatres, swimming pools, yacht clubs.

Ray McHugh, Meaford


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