Decision, decisions

Section: 
Editorial

Well, after 10 years, Kincardine council has finally made a decision on the lakeshore water pipeline.

Who knows how much interest the taxpayers of Kincardine have paid on the underfunded pipeline? The interest of $80,000 or so a year tends to add up.

 

Property owners serviced by the pipeline who have not hooked up to the system will now pay their share of the capital cost of the pipeline – unless council changes its mind again. A bylaw to cover the change in policy goes to council Nov. 20.

 

Looking back, it’s not hard to see why the province joined rural and urban centres when it went on an amalgamation kick 20 years ago.

 

After the Walkerton water tragedy, the province tightened water regulations and the Municipality of Kincardine became responsible for the water quality in the subdivisions along the shoreline and elsewhere in Bruce and Kincardine Townships.

 

Council at the time decided a pipeline was needed, but then backed down from making every property owner along the route pay his share, even though that is the accepted way of doing business in the province.

 

After a decade, a decision has been made and it won’t be a popular one in some circles.

 

Meanwhile, some estimate around $800,000 has gone out the window in interest payments.

 

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Team Kincardine is like a dog with a bone when it comes to a downtown visitor centre/office. It won’t let go.

 

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I watched parts of Wednesday evening’s marathon council meeting.

 

Councillors are often referring to studies or suggesting another one.

 

For example, another airport study was presented to council. How many have there been over the years?

 

And when council was discussing the tourism toolkit, which includes branding, councillor Maureen Couture asked what was going to happen to the last tourism promotion that gave us the “great energy. balanced life.” logo, etc. That deal cost over $100,000, she said.

 

The toolkit says that downtown Kincardine’s community identity and brand should be Ontario’s Scottish Destination.

 

I don’t believe that is anything new. Kincardine has been known for its Saturday night pipe band parades since 1948.

 

Why do we keep re-inventing the wheel?

 

When it comes to promotion, Kincardine is like a drooling dog. When can we pay?

 

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There is a group, Stop the Drop, keeping an eye on the falling water level of Lake Huron, especially Georgian Bay.

 

In an e-mail dated Oct. 17, it says the Lakes Superior, Erie and Ontario are at or above their long-term average levels. Lake Huron is still 40-50 cm below its long-term average. So where did the water go?

 

Good question.

 

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Still on the lake, we had a story last week on the 100th anniversary of the great storm of Nov. 9, 1913.

 

History shows that it’s rather dangerous to be on the lake at this time of year, even in these modern times. In 1980, the Avalon Voyager left Kincardine in the last week of October in perfect weather for Owen Sound. The former Newfoundland freighter was on the bottom of the lake at Tobermory in less than 24 hours when a nasty storm hit.

 

The Avalon Voyager spent a few years in the Kincardine harbour as a floating restaurant.

 

The huge lake freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, made famous by Gordon Lightfoot’s song, sank Nov. 10, 1975 in a Lake Superior storm.

 

And the 130th anniversary of another disaster that occurred close to home is quickly approaching. The Erie Belle, a tug, blew up at Boiler Beach Nov. 21, 1883, while trying to free the grounded schooner Carter. Four crew members died.

 

Today the Erie Belle Restaurant is better known than the wreck.