Wainfleet Council kept closely on target last night by passing a 9:30 meeting limit before working through a robust agenda covering a number of important items of business.
Agenda items included a proclamation on the National Day of Mourning, and reports on COVID-19, Short-Term Rentals, a Summer Lakeshore Management Strategy, Traffic and Parking, Fire apparatus and Fire Station project, Clean Yards, tender awards and Operational projects.
“This was a very heavy agenda and Council did extremely well to bring a high level of focus, debate and deliberation to bear on these important matters,” said Wainfleet CAO, William Kolasa.
Amidst the flurry of municipal activity however, Council began to outline the plan and direction the Township will be taking as the warmer weather approaches and the anticipated influx of visitors, as well as local residents, start to use Wainfleet’s several beaches.
Traffic control measures include the establishment of several Emergency Routes on the main roads leading to the beach areas, including Quarry Road, Side Road 18, Belleview Beach Road, Minor Road, Daley Ditch Road and Park St.
Wainfleet Fire Chief Morgan Alcock, was supportive of the move. “These areas are vital arteries for our Fire Department and all first responders – police and EMS – to be able to get to the scene when lives are at stake and seconds can make the difference between life and death,” he said. “We’ve got large numbers of people, including children and we need those roads open to us at all times.”
Traffic in beach areas will also be kept moving with the establishment of several ‘No Stopping’ zones on Augustine road and portions of Quarry Road between Lakeshore and Highway 3.
Perhaps most interesting and anticipated among traffic and parking measures however, was a new pilot program unveiled last night that would see special provisions given to Wainfleet residents related to parking.
“One of the biggest things we were hearing from Members of Council over time, was the inability of local residents to access popular beaches and waterfront areas during the high season,” said Wainfleet By-law Officer Mark Tardif. “The Resident Parking Permit Program is a great way for us to help control parking issues, while showing residents the respect of giving them additional access to these locations in their own municipality.”
The pilot program, which will be in place for the duration of the year, will see Wainfleet residents able to pay a small fee to apply for a ‘Resident Parking Permit’ sticker which will allow them to park vehicles registered to them, in one of two special ‘permit parking’ zones on one the west side of Brawn Road and the north side of Lakeshore Road – where properly signed – all day, every day.
“The ability of Fleeters to go to the beach or go for a swim after a hard day’s work is a tradition that goes back generations,” said Mayor Kevin Gibson. “With the permits only being available to residents, we are taking a major step forward in making sure that will continue in the future.”
The parking controls take effect immediately and the ability to apply for the resident permit program expected in the coming days.