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City Hall Update: Wetland Encroachments to Cost Millions and Barrie Eyes Federal Funding

At last week’s general committee meeting, a range of issues took the spotlight.

The City Council approved a significant motion concerning the capital construction and the ongoing maintenance of a dewatering program located at Marta Crescent in Ward 6. The approved financials for this project will see a substantial outlay from the city, with $350,000 allocated for this year and $400,000 for the next year.

Mayor Alex Nuttall stressed that this is merely the tip of the iceberg the cost is likely to run into millions. He pointed out that taxpayers are shouldering a hefty bill due to a planning decision made decades prior. Nuttall said wetlands are spreading into residential areas at the same time houses were built on a wetland. This stems from an old planning decision, when he was the councillor. Only a small number of homes (around 12) are affected, but the financial impact is significant. Nuttall urged caution in future planning decisions to ensure correct placement of housing density and avoid similar expensive mistakes. The city can’t hold past developers responsible, leaving taxpayers to cover the expenses.

In another highlight from the meeting, Mayor Nuttall underscored the necessity for the federal Liberal government to significantly step up their contribution towards infrastructure funding. There’s considerable talk about the proposed $4 billion fund, and Mayor Nuttall emphasized Barrie’s strategic advantage with its robust infrastructure. Highlighting everything from advanced wastewater systems to extensive electrical grids, he believes the city is primed for rapid development.

However, he has shown a noticeable hesitation to aggressively engage with the conservative provincial government on various fronts, including the contentious issues surrounding development charges and the approval process for the safe consumption site.

0:00 Intro

0:01:40 Summary of Previous meetings

0:10:00 Bike Diversion Program

0:13:50 Grant for Community Cycling

0:18:00 Wetland flooding at Marta Crescent

0:23:50 Yonge Street (667, 669, 673 AND 675) development

0:42:20 Federal Housing Accelerator Fund Application

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