Trail Grand Openings Met With Enthusiasm By Residents And Visiting Recreation Seekers

On Saturday, April 27, Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt and members of Council hosted grand opening celebrations at the award-winning Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract trails. Dozens of residents and visitors attended, despite the blustery weather, to explore the new routes and learn about Haldimand’s history.

“Both the Cayuga Grand Vista and Gypsum Mine Tract are fantastic additions to the community,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt. “They offer new opportunities to stay active, learn about our history and connect with nature,” he added.

At the Cayuga Grand Vista celebration, attendees were introduced to stories of the late Honourable Madame Justice Helen Kinnear and Honourable Dr. Justice T. David Marshall – both Cayuga-born figures with extraordinary accomplishments – whom the trail’s two scenic lookouts were named after. Justice Kinnear defied early gender stereotypes to become a history-making pioneer in the legal profession, while Dr. Justice Marshall achieved national recognition in the fields of medicine and law. Family members of both Justice Kinnear and Dr. Justice Marshall were present and acknowledged by Council prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

At the Gypsum Mine Tract opening, attendees learned about the history of gypsum mining that played a major role in Caledonia’s development. From 1838 – 2016, 5 mines were established and eventually decommissioned in both Caledonia and York; gypsum was extracted from 65 feet below ground and hauled to the surface by donkeys and horses underneath what is now the trail.

“The community response to both of these new trails has been extremely positive and they will be enjoyed by residents and visitors for generations to come,” said Hewitt.

More information on Haldimand County trail routes, parks and recreation activities is available on the Haldimand County website.


Haldimand County Council, staff, Trails Advisory Committee members and family members of Dr. Justice David T. Marshall and the Honourable Madame Justine Helen Kinnear cutting the Cayuga Grand Vista trail ribbon.

From left to right: Janet deVos (Haldimand County Trails Advisory Committee), Sheila Wilson (Haldimand County), Jill Morison, Fred Morison, Mrs. T. David Marshall, Don Boyle (Haldimand County), Brittany Morison, David Morison, Albert Morison, Darline Kinnear, Mayor Ken Hewitt (Haldimand County), (Behind Ken is Murray Kinnear), Ward 2 Councillor John Metcalfe (Haldimand County), Ward 3 Councillor Dan Lawrence (Haldimand County), and Megan Turner (Haldimand County).

Hydro Legacy Fund Policy And By-Law Will Protect & Govern Use Of $72.4 Million From The Sale Of Haldimand County Utilities, Inc.

A formal policy and by-law governing the use of $72.4 million Haldimand County Utilities Inc. (HCUI) net sale proceeds was presented to and ratified by Haldimand County Council in 2018. The policy & by-law regulates the management, uses, controls, transparency and accountability measures related to this significant asset.

When Council approved Hydro One’s proposal to purchase the shares of HCUI, a proviso was that the principal proceeds from the sale be preserved in perpetuity. Staff subsequently prepared a strategy that allowed the $72.4 million principal to be protected, while securely invested and generating significant annual income for ongoing municipal use.

The Policy outlines four types of permissible uses of Hydro Legacy Fund investment earnings, annually estimated at approximately $4 million (based on 5% rate of return), in the following order of priority:

1) Annual inflationary indexing of the principal net sale proceeds;

2) Contributions towards major assets/infrastructure that benefit Haldimand County;

3) Annual contributions to reduce the operating tax levy; and

4) Strategic economic initiatives/opportunities that are anticipated to have County-wide benefits through enhancements to local employment and Haldimand’s assessment base.

As a further safeguard, the By-law requires that the public be notified and consulted if a future Council wishes to amend or override any provision of the Policy. The By-law states that any such decision may only be considered at a public meeting, open to input from the public without the requirement of registering as a delegation, and with public notice given a minimum of four weeks in advance.

“The investment earning potential of the Hydro Legacy Fund is expected to provide a major source of revenue to finance future County initiatives. It’s extremely important that the Fund be protected and used for the continued benefit of taxpayers, and the policy and by-law have been enacted to serve as a safeguard,” said Haldimand County Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Karen General, General Manager of Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer noted the importance of accountability and transparency with regard to the Fund’s management. “It’s imperative that the public has access to reports and is aware of how the Fund is being used,” she stated in her presentation to Council. As such, the Hydro Legacy Fund policy outlines a number of requirements related to reporting, including an annual update from the Treasurer containing: a review of the investment performance and earnings, an accounting of all Fund-related transactions and other pertinent information.

Further details about the Hydro Legacy Fund and background information can be found within the Financial Information section of the website.

Haldimand County Continues To Improve Capital Project Process

Over the past four years Haldimand County has substantially increased the number and total dollar value of capital projects designed to meet the growing needs of Haldimand County residents, while at the same time, renew and sustain the County’s existing infrastructure.

During this period, the number of active capital projects has grown from about 500 projects per year to over 600 projects per year and the funding has increased from approximately $100 million to over $120 million. The delivery of the capital project program has largely been accommodated with existing staff.

While the vast majority of these projects – over 97% – are delivered on time and within budget there are always one or two projects that do not meet Council, staff and public expectations related to timing and/or the final product. Following Haldimand County’s philosophy of continuous improvement, Council has directed staff to review the capital project program and seek ways to maximize project successes.

As part of this directive, County staff will be reviewing ways to improve and strengthen the ability to meet these expectations by considering measures such as requiring contractor prequalification for more projects; increased penalties to contractors to enforce start and end dates for construction contracts; and, reviewing holdback types and amounts to ensure contractor performance.

It is anticipated that this review and implementation of appropriate changes to capital project contract management will further reduce the number of projects that are not delivered satisfactorily.

Speed Warning Sign Pilot Program Commences, New Equipment Deployed

On Tuesday, August 28, Mayor Ken Hewitt, Haldimand County Council and Police Services Board members met with local OPP Detachment staff to unveil newly-purchased speed monitoring equipment. The new equipment – including pole-mounted speed warning signs (12), Speed Spy data collectors (3) and a trailer-mounted, portable speed warning sign (1) – will be deployed in the coming weeks.

With input from the Haldimand Police Services Board, Council approved the purchase of this new speed monitoring equipment during the 2018 Capital Budget deliberations with an estimated expenditure of $112,000. The devices will be deployed as part of a community safety pilot program, initiated by Council in response to vehicle speeding concerns expressed by residents. The deployment plan for the new equipment was generated collaboratively with input from Ward Councillors, the Police Services Board and members of the Haldimand County OPP detachment.

Two pole-mounted speed warning signs will be installed in each of the County’s six Wards as part of the pilot project, while the Speed Spy data collectors will be deployed by the OPP based on complaints received and areas of concern. Data collected from the Speed Spy units will be analyzed by the OPP with the reports subsequently posted to the Haldimand County website. The trailer-mounted, portable speed warning sign will be relocated periodically to enhance the travelling public’s awareness of speeding.
“This is a good step forward in addressing longstanding safety concerns of Council and residents. Keeping our roads safe for community members and visitors is imperative,” said Mayor Ken Hewitt.

Belinda Rose, Staff Sergeant of Haldimand County’s OPP Detachment echoed Mayor Hewitt’s comments. “Haldimand County OPP remain committed to protecting both motorists and pedestrians. This proactive approach is a positive step towards enhanced public safety,” Rose stated.
Staff Sergeant Rose also reiterated the consequences motorists may face if they are caught speeding. Under Section 128 of The Highway Traffic Act, the following penalties may be applied:

> 20 km/hr above posted speed limit – fines start at $95.00 + 3 demerit points
> 30 km/hr above posted speed limit – fines start at $220.00 + 4 demerit points
> 40 km/hr above posted speed limit – fines start at $295.00 + 4 demerit points
> 50 km/hr above posted speed limit – automatic drivers license suspension and vehicle impoundment

Information regarding the effectiveness of the speed warning sign pilot program will be brought forward to the Haldimand Police Services Board and Council in 2019.

For further information, please contact Karen General, General Manager of Corporate Services, at 905-318-5932 ext. 6321.

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