Gail Little

I have served on Amaranth Council since 2014.  As a proud, long-term resident of the Township, I have learned a lot and appreciate the work that goes into keeping the Township functioning smoothly and successfully.

Many years ago, as a city raised girl, I was able to purchase my first 100-acre property in Amaranth and started down the long winding road of becoming a farmer.  Of course, off farm income was required which I earned in the heavy construction industry.  With many ups and downs along the way, I am happy and privileged to share my growing agricultural operation with the second and third generations of my family.

Amaranth Township has the most land in agricultural production within Dufferin County.  It is important that we continue to support and strengthen this important part of our economy.   We also have four new residential communities under development along with plans for some commercial and industrial designated lands.  With this growth and the rapid development that is occurring within our neighbouring municipalities, we will be faced with increased demands on our shared services such as recreation centres, libraries, fire services and police protection as well as more traffic on most of our roads.

The next four years will be challenging as we meet the needs of these growing communities.   My experience on council, in business and in agriculture will serve our township appropriately as we address the changes that we know will be necessary to meet the demands ahead.  If elected Deputy Mayor of Amaranth, I will provide a strong voice and positive impact as a member of Dufferin County Council.

Email:  [email protected]

All Candidates Meeting – Q & A

1. Why does Amaranth have more bad gravel roads than any township in Dufferin?

I do not think that are roads are worse than all other townships in Dufferin. I have travelled along some very rough roads in other townships as well. Amaranth was a township of many wet, boggy areas. Over the years, this has improved immensely. I can remember sections of roads that were impassable in the spring in the 80s. However, our winters are no longer consistently cold and below freezing so the freeze and thaw cycles can create more potholes and damage gravel roads and some paved roads. Some of our roads may still not have the base required. In some years, new gravel has been minimal due to budget constraints. Certainly, in much of our township, the volume of traffic has increased including many trucks that carry auto parts or other manufactured goods and dump trucks with fill and gravel.

2. The park in Waldemar is a bit dated and not made for younger children. Is there plans to improve these facilities?

I do think that having parks that meet the needs of the population is important. We need to ensure that we have facilities that are useful for varying age groups and we need to have suitable trails for hiking and cycling. I would certainly include an amount in each year’s budget for park maintenance and improvement. Of course, new equipment is expensive in order to meet strict standards. I am interested in hearing from the residents about what their wish list might be so that we could consider implementing some of the requests.

3. How will infrastructure be funded?

Amaranth needs to develop long term planning that has a focus on infrastructure replacement. We need to have shovel ready projects whenever the opportunity for grant applications is presented. It would be best to use grant dollars for our big-ticket investments in infrastructure work as they are usually paid on a percentage of cost basis. Amaranth will have to plan for some infrastructure work to be funded by local tax dollars as well. We should take advantage of low interest loans when offered. As our tax base increases, the repayment of loans will be spread over more residents and businesses who are also the future users of the infrastructure.

4. What is your plan on deplorable properties in Amaranth as there is no properties standards act?

We do need to start with some definitions of acceptable and non-acceptable materials and storage units on properties. Do we want to allow secants or unused trucking trailers for starters? The number of units is increasing rapidly throughout the township. As well, we need to make sure that we have environmental protection in place. The key to this though is enforcement. Currently, we do not have the proper by-laws but we also do not have the enforcement personnel required.

5. How will you regulate / prevent dumping fill throughout the township? Dump trucks are dumping non-stop during the weekends.

When council and/or staff are aware of a fill operation, we do require compliance with our by-law which includes site plans, haul routes and haul hours. Again though, we are weak in by-law enforcement. We do not have full time staff to look after this and in some cases, fines that encourage compliance. Over the past few years, we have been successful in court with some of the illegal fill operations that have occurred but even that does not always guarantee successful collection of fines and restoration. We do require security deposits with fill applications but sometimes they are not sufficient to compensate remedial site work. This by-law needs constant revision to cover the increasing demand for fill dump sites.

6. Would council consider hosting town hall events to encourage community participation in council?

Absolutely! It is important to hear from residents but not always possible to address all requests. There can be many differing views on issues to consider and balance.

7. I would also like to know how the township plans to address the increasing number of unkempt properties within Amaranth. Do candidates also have concerns about this?

As a resident, I would like to have properties that meet certain standards. However, I recognize that ii is very hard to define and enforce a certain standard. There is the saying “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” or something to that effect. We cannot set standards that cannot be enforced and currently we do not have the personnel or mechanisms in place for enforcement.

8. Dufferin still has no waste management plan other than going to Michigan. Why the energy from waste plant not being build (sic) purchased by county?

Dufferin County does need to improve its waste management system. I believe our landfill waste is currently shipped to London, Ontario but it is still a very significant volume. There also needs to be encouragement to lessen packaging and recycle more. For most suppliers, the encouragement to lessen or change package materials needs to come from the consumers, as we are an economy that is based on consumerism. The township and the county should explore alternate options that may be available which could include changes to composting and recycling.

9. Testing water. Who pays for that??

Water testing costs could be covered by possible source of contaminants by making it essential for industrial or commercial businesses to undertake regular water testing when located near any water sources, ie rivers, streams, wetlands, wells or aquifers. Conservation Authorities also do water testing and will work with property owners to improve and protect our vital water resources.