• James Armstrong

Hudson hiking trails require maintenance and roads need paving


PHOTO COURTESY NATALIE BEST

Hudson’s extensive trail system requires regular maintenance according to former councilor who snapped this image of a fallen tree on one of the town’s popular hiking trails.

Hudson hiking trails are in a state of disrepair and roads are in desperate need of paving according to a former town councillor Natalie Best who brought the issues to council’s attention on Monday, August 5 during the first question period of the regular monthly council meeting.

“The trails are looking largely neglected,” Best told council. “It’s very dangerous. There are trees ready to fall and trees that have fallen. Is anyone looking after the upkeep of the trails during the summer?” she asked.

“Yes, there are people looking after the trails,” responded Mayor Jamie Nicholls adding, “We have a large territory and although it isn’t the job of citizens we appreciate it when they let us know about an issue. So, thank you for flagging the problem.”

As for road repair, Best pointed out that cold patching broken asphalt was a waste of money in her opinion, because rainstorms were washing out the repair work.

“I’m curious to know if anymore roads will be paved this year?” she asked.

“We will be tabling our five-year paving plan later this year,” Nicholls replied. “To the best of my knowledge, there won’t be any major paving projects this year.”

No referendum for construction project

The registry procedure for the resolution regarding the proposed construction project at 426 Main Road did not receive enough signatures to trigger a referendum. “There was a door-to-door and telephone campaign done for the zones affected and there was quite a bit of buzz on social media,” said the mayor following the meeting. The project, located on an empty lot next to the Legg building, now proceeds to the Town Planning and Advisory Committee (TPAC). It’s a mix of commercial and 20 residential units that has undergone several changes since it was proposed to the town earlier in the year.

“It’s come a long way since we saw the first drawings,” said Nicholls noting that siding materials had been replaced with brickwork.

PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS

An engineering report to find the best option for the future of the Pine Lake dam will determine whether or not it should be replaced.

Future of Pine Lake dam

Council approved the expenditure of $15,000 for the production of an engineer’s report by the firm Stantec. The objective of the report is to find the best option for the future of the dam. “This is another step concerning the dam, whether or not to replace it,” said Nicholls. We’ve been doing our due diligence with the Ministry of the Environment for the project to go forward and the lake to come back, eventually.”

Subdivision of smaller lots

Council approved the adoption of By-law 525.2 to amend the planning program in order to allow higher density construction in area H2 where water and sewer systems are available. They also approved the second reading of By-law 526.4 to amend zoning By-law 526 to allow the subdivision of lots of smaller size in zones R-28 and R-33 where water and sewer systems are available. Consequently, the town’s Site Planning and Architectural Integration Program (SPAIP) required an amending By-law 571.3 to accommodate the zoning amendments. A public consultation will be held Wednesday, August 21 at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre at 7 p.m. regarding the modifications to the SPAIP.

Preserving natural habitat

Council heard a notice of motion for By-law Amendment 571.4 to include objectives and evaluation criteria applicable to natural habitats and those of biophysical characteristics in the SPAIP regulations. “This is a by-law amendment that was brought forth as a result of discussions with the Environmental Action Group,” said Nicholls. The objectives of the amendment are to preserve and enhance ecosystems and natural habitat, aquatic habitat, protect and conserve native species including species at risk. It also includes the prevention of slope instability and erosion in areas adjacent to bodies of water. Similarly, a notice of motion for By-law 526.4 was proposed by Councillor Chloe Hutchison amending By-law 526 modifying certain provisions to protect natural habitats such as establishing a 15-metre dimension to the shoreline of bodies of water, the protection of forests, forest cover and forest corridors, and wetlands.

“We are in a climate crisis therefore we have to preserve these areas for future generations,” said the mayor.

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