Rick Fryer

Town to fill in rumble strips, look at alternative measures

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The town is looking at alternative measures instead of having rumble strips on rural roads.

Town council voted Monday night to remove rumble strips from concessions and other rural roads they are on as a result of noise complaints filed by residents who live near them. The rumble strips will be filled in and replaced with increased signage, pavement markings, larger stop signs and additional flashing lights and beacons.

The Town of Amherstburg will also try and work with the County of Essex, where applicable, to resolve the issues.

The cost of $13,565 to carry out the work was deemed “very reasonable” to Councillor Diane Pouget.

“It’s a win-win situation,” said Pouget, believing safety measures were still being taken while at the same time, the noise from the rumble strips would be eliminated for nearby residents.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he didn’t have an issue with filling in the rumble strips, but suggested other measures in addition to more signage. He said there are areas, including some streets in Windsor, where a granular surface was placed on the road and painted over when road lines are put on. He wondered if that would help get a driver’s attention while, at the same time, not be a nuisance for people who live nearby.

“From the beginning, I said they were too deep,” Fryer said of the rumble strips.

Rumble strips, such as the ones pictured on Concession 3 North, will be filled in when the asphalt plants open. Town council agreed to fill the rumble strips in after several noise complaints were made by residents who live near the rumble strips throughout Amherstburg.

Fryer was concerned over foggy weather and distracted driving, adding “I just feel there’s got to be something else” in addition to the recommendations but something that wouldn’t negatively impact residents. Pouget added that alternative countermeasures were “part and parcel” of the motion

Councillor Leo Meloche said he measured the depth of the rumble strips in some areas and said they were “not that deep.”

“It’s the design that makes them so loud,” said Meloche.

Meloche indicated the number of rumble strips make the noise worse, as there are four to five sections where rumble strips are cut.

“If one doesn’t (get a driver’s attention), five won’t,” he said.

Michelle Poberezny, who lives near Concession 8 North and Middle Side Road, equates the rumble strips to having someone ring the doorbell five times every time a car went by.

“It significantly impacted our quality of life,” she said.

Poberezny said they can hear the noise at night while in bed and when a school bus goes by, dishes rattle in the cupboards.

“It literally gets on your last nerve,” she said.

Residents want the intersections to be safe, Poberezny added, but added that cyclists also have to ride around rumble strips putting them at risk.

“I think this is a good resolution,” she believed.

Dino Gidillini, who lives near Concession 3 North and Middle Side Road, wanted more empathy from council members, adding there was little to no remorse. He believed more research should have been done before the rumble strips were cut.

“It’s going to cost taxpayers money to fix this,” he said. “They should have done their homework first.” A report on Monday’s agenda, public works reviewed Ontario Traffic Manuals, related legislation and guidelines as well as policies from other municipalities. An engineer’s report said use of rumble strips are not recommended within 200-500 metres of residential areas.

State of Concession 2 North draws ire of councillor

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A member of town council is calling for action with regards to the condition of one of the town’s rural roads.

Councillor Rick Fryer said he has fielded numerous calls with regards to the state of Concession 2 North, stating there have been many temporary repairs done but not enough to ensure the road is in good shape.

“I don’t know how many repairs we’ve done to that road,” he said.

Councillor Rick Fryer has expressed concern with the condition of Concession 2 North.

Pointing out there is a roads needs study in Amherstburg, Fryer believed that Concession 2 North between Middle Side Road and the bridge over the Long Marsh Drain should be at the top of the list. He said “patchwork” repairs have been done and believed that residents who live and travel down that road should see major repairs and upgrades.

“Those residents deserve a new one,” he said of the road. “We need to aggressively fix that road.”

The bridge over Long Marsh Drain is scheduled for replacement this year. The bridge, located near River Canard, will be replaced at a cost of approximately $1.2 million and look like a modern bridge rather than the bow arch bridge that currently is situated there.

County approves new medical tiered response program

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Essex County council has amended the Essex Windsor EMS and Fire Services Medical Tiered Response Agreement (MTRA) and it appears that it will benefit local fire departments.

One of these is the Amherstburg fire department, with town council taking credit for pressing the issue with the county.

According to a report from Essex-Windsor EMS Chief Bruce Krauter that went before county council earlier this month, Essex-Windsor EMS as well as the county and Windsor fire services “have a long-standing agreement in which the fire services are notified, or otherwise known as tiered, for medical responses. The agreements are provided to the Central Ambulance Communication Centre as a directive for communicators to follow when requesting assistance from fire services.”

Krauter noted in his report that the criteria of medical tiered response changed over a 24-year period among the various individual fire services until 2015.

“The variety of the criteria resulted in confusion of the communicators and responding paramedics alike, therefore in 2015 the Medical Tiered Response Agreement (MTRA) was unified and formalized across the city and county fire services,” Krauter stated in his report. “The unification created a consistent approach across all municipalities and fire services.”

Krauter also noted that the 2015 MTRA introduced “the unified medical direction, continued quality assurance and call auditing. This unification and consistent approach has improved patient care and is one of the leading factors in the increased sudden cardiac arrest survival rates, year over year.”

Krauter added: “Since the inception of the 2015 MTRA the EWEMS call volume has increased, on average, 6-8 per cent. As discussed in the 2018 budget deliberations, the increase in call volume has put pressure on not only EWEMS but also the local fire services, whom are participants in the MTRA.”

While local fire departments can still respond to Code 4 calls when EMS staff is depleted, they would not be dispatched to medical facilities where doctors and nurses are already on site.

As a general rule, fire departments should not be dispatched to doctor’s offices, dentists offices, Family Health Teams, nurse practitioner-led clinics, hospitals, hospices or community health centres, Krauter’s reported added.

“This additional clause is expected to reduce the responses to those locations where a higher medical authority is on scene and able to provide a higher medical intervention before EMS arrival,” Krauter stated. “The amended Medical Tiered Response Agreement is expected to maintain the excellent services our fire services provide across the Essex-Windsor region while maintaining their local services in an effective, efficient and sustainable manner. The Essex Windsor EMS and Fire Services Medical Tiered Response Agreements are currently in the approval process in their respective municipalities. Once approved, they become part of the EWEMS deployment plan and are delivered to the Windsor Central Ambulance Communication Centre for implementation. It is the anticipated the MTRA can be delivered with in the next three to four weeks.”

The town has spent $70,000 over the last couple of years on medical calls with the new agreement calling for a reduction of almost half of that.

Councillor Rick Fryer said every municipality should be paying its fair share and the new agreement will allow for a more equitable distribution of costs.

“I know this was not well received at first and (the county) was not too impressed with our council but we did the job for our residents,” said Fryer.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said the new agreement won’t address off-load delays at area hospitals, but will address many of the town’s concerns.

“It’s a good thing we brought it up and frankly, we got what we asked for,” he said.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone anticipated a favourable financial impact for the town and said it will lessen the impact on local ratepayers.

“Amherstburg led the way on this issue,” said Montone.

“Amherstburg led the way on this issue,” said Montone.

Town council’s remuneration report for 2017 released

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

How much money were your elected officials paid in 2017?

The answer was revealed as part of the agenda for the March 19 town council meeting. Treasurer Justin Rousseau stated in his report to town council that municipal treasurers are required under Section 284 of the Municipal Act to provide their councils “an itemized statement of remuneration and expense payments in the previous year.”

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo’s total remuneration was $45,071.97 for 2017. That includes his salary at $32,506.70 with the remainder including his $7,040 in remuneration (salary, meeting fees and travel/mileage) from being on the Essex Powerlines board as well as his communication allowance, per diem, public reception and travel and mileage from the town. He also earned $1,200 for being on the Amherstburg Police Service Board (APSB).

Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale’s remuneration for 2017 was $22,430.90. The salary for being deputy mayor is $21,658.25 with the remainder being his legal fees, communication allowance, public receptions and travel and mileage.

All councillors earned a salary of $18,141.05.

The total remuneration for Councillor Rick Fryer was $22,303.87. That includes his salary, communication allowance and public receptions. Also included is Fryer’s remuneration for being on the ERCA board of directors, where he serves as the chair. His honorarium, per diem and mileage for being on the ERCA board totalled $2,767.

Councillor Joan Courtney’s total remuneration for 2017 was $22,071.56 That included her salary and the other associated expenses such as her communication allowance, training and conferences as well as her travel and mileage.

A total remuneration total of $21,533.09 was attributed to Councillor Leo Meloche for 2017. That included his salary plus his communication allowance, public receptions, training and conferences and travel and mileage.

Councillor Diane Pouget’s total 2017 remuneration was $19,869.39. That included her salary plus communication and legal fees.

Councillor Jason Lavigne had a total remuneration of $19,386.02. That includes his salary plus public receptions as well as his $1,200 honorarium for being on the APSB.

Also receiving $1,200 APSB honorariums were Bob Rozankovic and Patricia Simone. Ron Sutherland received $1,150.80 for his mileage and per diem being Amherstburg’s second appointee to the ERCA board of directors.

Appointees to the committee of adjustment who received $975 in 2017 included Sherry Ducedre, Duncan Smith and Donald Shaw while Michael Prue and David Cozens each earned $900. Simon Chamely and Shirley Curson-Prue from the heritage committee went to the Ontario Heritage Conference last year and their expenses were $1,511.94 and $1,668.14 respectively. William Whittal’s honorarium for being on the accessibility committee was $300 for the year while the honorariums, training and mileage expenses for the drainage board members – Robert Bezaire, Brad Laramie, Allan Major, Bob Pillon and Ron Sutherland – totalled $4,663.97 for 2016.

Council members look for resolution on rumble strip issue

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The fate of rumble strips, the grooves in the pavement near rural intersections, may be learned next month.

Town council is expected to receive a report in April on the matter, it was learned, after Councillor Leo Meloche brought the matter forward at the most recent town council meeting. Meloche said the noise being made by people driving over the rumble strips is still a problem for many who live near them.

“We have to address this one way or another,” said Meloche. “I’m asking when.”

Director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin said his recommendation was to wait as administration gathers best practices from other municipalities.

Council was also told that the town has changed the engineering firm that was looking into the issue. However, Meloche wanted a solution sooner than later, suggesting that some rumble strips could be filled in when the asphalt plants re-open for the season.

“We’ve got to get urgency into this matter,” said Meloche. “I don’t think a whole summer of this would be pleasing to any of us.”

CAO John Miceli stated administration is performing its due diligence into the matter but Councillor Rick Fryer said rumble strips in other areas of the province that he has travelled don’t result in the same level of noise as the rumble strips in the rural areas of Amherstburg.

“The depth is too deep,” he said, though public works officials informed him the most recent installation was at a quarter-inch depth as recommended by the county. Galvin added that rumble strips in other areas may have been carved some time ago and have worn down, as compared to the “fresh” rumble strips that are in Amherstburg.

A report is expected to be before town council April 9.