Wind company to cover costs of road damages in West Lincoln
Council in conflict over which roads to fix, pass decision over until October
While it remains unclear what the final sum is that they expect to receive, on Monday night West Lincoln councillors considered roadwork that could total nearly $6.1M.
The recommendation from staff was to spend $5,274,702 on a number of roads in the southeast corner of West Lincoln, nearest to the site of the wind farm.
The recommendation also asked for $150,000 from the wind energy road restoration fund for staffing assistance as well as $585,000 to repair the bridge on South Chippawa Road.
The plans would span nearly 70 kilometres of roadway, over 20 different roads in the municipality.
On June 19, council met for a special meeting in camera to pass a resolution authorizing the agreement with the wind company. The result was that a bylaw be approved to execute a release and settlement with NR Capital General Partnership, the company related to the Niagara Region Wind Farm.
“We will not be releasing the final number based on our solicitor’s recommendation,” said Mayor Doug Joyner. “The Township of West Lincoln is not done negotiations with the wind company.”
Coun. Jason Trombetta says the negotiations are between the town’s solicitor and the wind company. He says that prior to his departure, chief administrative officer Chris Carter was in negotiations with the company alongside the solicitor; no council members were involved in the dealings, he says.
Trombetta put forward an amendment to the motion during the regular council session on Monday, asking for the work on the South Chippawa Road bridge to be removed and in its place, work on roads in his own ward.
“There’s a lot of exterior roads that were damaged by this project,” said Trombetta. “Why are other wards forgotten in all of this?”……
“This is a lot to dump on our plate here at one council meeting,” said Bylsma. “The hair on the back of my neck is getting raised.”
Couns. Joann Chechalk and Dave Bylsma said the decision was far too big to make that evening.
“We’re talking millions of dollars and we’re just doing it willy-nilly, on the fly,” said Bylsma. He stated that council should respect the science and engineering of the staff report and stick to their recommendations.
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