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Township to assume Rockwood subdivision after lengthy process

by Chris Daponte

BRUCEDALE - Guelph-Eramosa Township has agreed to assume ownership of phase three of the Rockwood Ridge subdivision, but not before doubling the cash required from the developer to fix remaining “deficiencies.”

Engineering consultant John Burns, of R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd.,  recommended on Dec. 19 that the township seek $15,000 in cash and a $10,000 deposit from the Seaton Group.

The $15,000 would help address outstanding work on the site on the south side of the  village, including:

- boulevard sodding;

- fixing minor cracks in curbs, sidewalks and asphalt;

- cleaning out catch basins;

- replacing a cracked catch basin; and

- replacing street light bulbs.

The purpose of the additional $10,000 deposit is to ensure grading, grass seeding and plantings on a recently-completed block perform well during a winter and spring season, Burns told council.

Township public works director Mark Robertson had no issue with the deposit, but was not happy with the amount of cash required to fix other deficiencies.

“We feel there’s a greater cost,” Robertson said, adding there could also be some “safety” issues. “The deficiencies that remain ... would be more costly than $15,000.”

Burns said he was okay with increasing the cash requirement from the Seaton Group, noting the township still holds about $210,000 in a letter of credit  from the developer.

Councillor Doug Breen suggested there must be a number between $15,000 and  $210,000 that would satisfy township staff, though Robertson was hesitant to provide an exact figure.

Mayor Chris White said the township has a responsibility to taxpayers to assume a development that is in good shape, but council has also has to be reasonable in its request of the developer.

The mayor suggested $50,000 to correct the remaining deficiencies and Robertson agreed to that figure.

However, Seaton Group vice president Jeremy Grant said $15,000 should be enough to complete the outstanding work.

“I actually thought that was high,” he said.

Grant told council he would have had his contractor, Drexler Construction, complete the work at a fraction of the $15,000 if he had received Burns’ list before December.

Noting the subdivision has been in the works for almost two decades, Grant added “it’s time” for the township to assume ownership of the project, which is nearly 100% completed.

White said the township could withhold $50,000 from the Seaton Group, in addition to the $10,000 deposit, and return any leftover funds to the company.

“We will fix this stuff,” White said, explaining it will be up to township officials to address and complete the work.

Council unanimously passed a resolution to assume  phase three of the subdivision, provided there are no legal issues, and also to retain $60,000 total from the company.

 

December 30, 2011

 
 

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