Traffic study for Williamsburg intersection

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Traffic study for Williamsburg intersection
United Counties of SDG logo.

An increase in collisions in Williamsburg at the intersection of County Roads 31 and 18 this year is prompting a traffic study for the intersection by SDG Counties.

SDG Counties councillors were told at the June 19 meeting that so far in 2023 there have been three collisions at the intersection, which has seen an increase in incidents in recent years.

A report will come back to council later this year regarding the intersection.

The intersection has seen long  term traffic issues in the past as residential and rental buildings are close to the intersection.

This latest study was initiated after residents contacted SDG about the safety issues. Currently convex mirrors are placed at the intersection to assist drivers on CR 18 to see oncoming traffic on CR 31.

Regional Incentives approved

Nine more businesses or projects are the latest to be approved for money from SDG Counties through the Regional Incentives Program – including a restaurant in Morrisburg.

The yet-to-open Burg Bar and Grill in the Morrisburg Village Plaza will receive up to a maximum of $12,250 through the RI program. The funds will go towards updating electrical and plumbing, converting washrooms to gender-neutral and accessible facilities, and renovating the property to meet current fire and building codes. The business is the only South Dundas applicant to be approved in this round.

A total of $123,950 was approved in this round of funding. A previous round in early spring saw two projects in South Dundas approved.

Other approved applicants include: Avonmore Storage and Retail ($18,000); Vanessa McBain Massage Therapy in North Stormont ($400); Tranquility Acres in North Glengarry ($20,000); Ontario Inc 2686008 – the property owner where The Planted Arrow in Winchester is located ($18,000); Artisan Kitchen and Bath in South Glengarry ($22,000); 14077512 Canada Inc. – Lancaster Triplex – in South Glengarry ($12,250); The Glengarry Market in Alexandria ($20,000); and the Cornwall Township Historical Society for a project in St. Andrews West ($1,050).

“7 in 7” Regional Plan

The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus presented its pledge adopted late last year to develop 7,000 new affordable community rental units in Eastern Ontario over the next seven years.

Citing municipal wait lists that range from 12,000 to 14,000 in Eastern Ontario, the pledge commits the counties represented by the EOWC group to add this into the provincial commitment to add 1.5 million new housing units in the next 10 years.

SDG Counties councillors unanimously adopted the resolution. EOWC represents upper-tier municipalities excluding separated cities in Eastern Ontario.

Housing report

A report by the Cornwall SDG Human Services Department highlighted the challenges facing renters in Cornwall and the Counties currently. The annual report looks at social housing provided by the City of Cornwall department through the Shared Services Agreement with SDG.

The report highlighted the core housing need in SDG and Cornwall with 34.7 per cent of renters spending more than 30 per cent of their monthly income on shelter costs. For a single person receiving Ontario Works, the average rental price is higher than the monthly income received through OW.  A single person on the Ontario Disability Support Program has – on average – $23 per month remaining after paying for housing and food.

Report said that a family of four receiving OW has only $353 remaining after housing and food per month while a single parent with two children receiving OW has just over $600 per month after paying food and housing costs.

Both Cornwall and SDG have an average rent for a two-bedroom apartment of $1,309 per month, and a vacancy rate of just 1.3 per cent. In comparison, Belleville has a vacancy rate of two per cent and an average rent of $1,174 per month.

Currently there are 446 households on the Community Housing wait list in 2023 in Cornwall and SDG. Of those, 147 households are families, 101 are seniors, and 198 are single adults who are not seniors.

The department updated council on its current projects including a 77-unit building being constructed at Ninth and McConnell in Cornwall. That project will see new tenants begin to move in on July 10. Projects for Pitt Street North, also in Cornwall, and a 17-unit expansion of the Glen Morris property is underway.

The department is presenting localized plans identifying lower-tier owned municipal land that could be developed for more housing to municipal councils in the coming weeks. Cornwall SDG Human Services presented that report at South Dundas council June 19.

Annual audit

SDG Counties has received a clean bill of health financially form its auditor. Jamie Pollock with MNP presented the draft 2022 Financial Statements for the counties at the June 19 meeting. SDG saw less cash on hand over 2021 as the remainder of the COVID-19 municipal funding received from the province was spent in 2022. The Counties had a surplus of $8.65 million at the close of the fiscal year, most of which is allocated into reserves or earmarked for capital funding.

This article was originally written for the Morrisburg Leader. 

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