WEST LINCOLN — Residents on Elcho Road did not want to go another winter with their road this way.
What was once a paved roadway has been stripped back to gravel after heavy trucks and machinery pummelled the pavement in the building of the Niagara Region Wind Farm.
“It’s brutal living on the road right now,” said Paul Reece, who has lived there for over 20 years. “We need it fixed, ASAP.”
A number of residents came out to council on Monday night to urge those around the horseshoe to fix the road.
Jim Greenwood is a farmer, and he says the dust is so bad when he drives his tractor down the road that he has to stop when he’s around children, because he simply can’t see them.
“When it’s dry, the dust is so bad,” he said, adding what used to be an annual hosing down of his front porch is now almost a weekly occurrence.
“It’s just costing me more money, and it’s unsafe.”
Kathryn Swain says she can’t even hang her laundry on the line to dry because of the dust.
“We had an accident that took out our hay wagon,” she said, because a vehicle slid out on the rocks.
Council took these anecdotes to heart when they voted to reconsider the decision to pass the nearly $6-million roadwork plans that they delayed last meeting.
After a lengthy debate last meeting over whether to amend the motion to fix the roads damaged by the construction of the wind farm, council chose to defer the choice until October.
“The original staff report was a fine report,” said Coun. Dave Bylsma. It was Jason Trombetta’s amendment to move some of the funding to fix roads in his ward that caused tension in the chamber.
This time around, Trombetta brought forward a solution that all of the councillors were content with.
“We came together to try to work something out for all the communities affected by turbines,” said Trombetta.
His amendment takes funding from the town’s capital budget that was slated to fix the roads already being serviced by the wind farm payout, and covers work in Ward 1.
“You’re not going to do the road twice,” said Coun. Mike Rehner. “What we’ve basically got right now is a duplication.”
Council voted unanimously in favour of the motion and the amendment.
Road resurfacing, like on Elcho road, will be prioritized.
Article by Alexandra Heck
Published July 25, 2017: Niagara This Week