Crosswalk to be installed downtown
By Angelica Ingram
The following are brief reports of items discussed at the Nov. 23 meeting of Dysart et al council.
After much discussion, council has decided to budget for a pedestrian crossing on the west side of the intersection of Highland Street, York Street and Cedar Avenue.
The decision follows a traffic study that director of public works Brian Nicholson had commissioned by Tranplan Associates, that concluded there was enough traffic to warrant a courtesy crossing at the popular intersection.
In addition to the crosswalk, Nicholson suggested there be appropriate line painting, signage and sidewalks in the Head Lake parking lot area.
According to Nicholson’s report to council, it would be a joint project between the roads department and the parks and rec department, to budget for the crossing along with associated signage, road markings and potential adjustments to the walkway.
While Reeve Murray Fearrey said he was nervous about the crosswalk, pointing in particular to signage and safety issues, other councillors were in favour of the idea. “You’re coming down Highland Street ... are you going to see that [crosswalk] painted on the road?” asked the reeve.
Nicholson said he hired a consultant for that purpose and that the plan has research behind it.
“We’re going to have to take a good hard look at it to make sure it is a safe crossing,” he said.
“I’m in favour of the crosswalk,” said Deputy-reeve Andrea Roberts. “I was all along.”
Council passed a resolution to put the items into the 2016 budget for approval.
Public Art Policy adopted
Council has decided to formally adopt a public art policy, following recommendations made at the Oct. 26 meeting of council. Prepared by the municipality’s cultural resources committee, the policy puts in place a framework that allows for better decision making around public art and the management and collecting of art.
The policy would not apply to art that is already juried, such as the Haliburton Sculpture Forest.
While some councillors still thought the policy was too involved, a resolution to formally adopt it was carried.
Financial requests come in
Various requests for financial assistance from different organizations and events has the municipality considering adopting an official policy on the matter.
Councillors heard a delegation from Nick Adams, manager of the r.e.c. Room Drop in Centre, which has been operating in downtown Haliburton for almost a year. Adams said the facility has filled a need in the community, offering a place for people to hang out and receive information on community supports and resources.
Staffed by volunteers, the drop-in centre has been running on donations and is partnering with other community groups.
It costs $14,000 a year to run the centre, with Adams requesting some financial support from the municipality. Council also received a financial request from organizers of the TORC boat races, which took place this August for its inaugural year in Haliburton.
Event co-ordinator Barb Hammond made a written request for $4,000, to go towards more portable toilets, wash stations, paramedics, ambulance and advertising.
Both items were deferred to budget considerations
Roberts suggested council start looking into adopting a policy for such requests.
Fearrey agreed, saying the municipality was beginning to pay for things that were typically funded by service clubs. “We don’t want a huge tax increase,” he said.