Cramahe Community Association is a non-profit volunteer organization committed to improving the quality of life for residents of Cramahe Township and to represent the members of the Association in appearances before Cramahe Township Council
- Monitor financial planning and budget process to ensure that responsible financial decisions are made by Council
- Review infrastructure planning to ensure that present and future needs of the Township are met in a sustainable fashion
- Ensure that detailed safety assessments have been performed at all rail level crossings, and all level crossings meet current standards
- Pursue implementation of whistle cessation at all rail level crossings protected by Flashing Lights, Bells and Gates (FLBG)
Live Interview Northumberland 89.7FM Radio - Hopeful Disillusionment!
John Hill interviewed Gritt Koehl this afternoon on "Week in Review". Many topics from Cramahe Township were covered. Click on the link below to listen to the interview.
Letter to CN Executive and Transport Canada
Given the lack of action in correcting rail level crossing deficiencies in Cramahe, the president of the CCA wrote to the CEO of CN. Copies of the letter were sent to Transport Canada and our local politicians. You can read the letter here or under the Cramahe Council/Rail Level Crossing Safety tab. Depending on the response, the CCA may need to raise the profile of the matter with Transport Canada and the media.
Check out pictures from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation National Debt Clock Stop in Cobourg
Click on News & Events tab!
The newly formed Northumberland Taxpayers Coalition was in attendance. The Coalition, which consists of ratepayers and taxpayers associations across the County, is commited to tackling County Budget and Process, and to bring the voice of taxpayers to County Council Meetings. The groups involved are the Cramahe Community Association, Cobourg Taxpayers Association, Citizens Council for Hamilton Township, and the Port Hope Ratepayers Association.
CTF National Debt Clock in Cobourg July 12, 2016 at 3:00pm - Canadian Tire Parking Lot
Wasteful government spending needs to be stopped and it is up to you as a taxpayer to get involved and find out (and understand) what your local government is doing.
Is your Council making INFORMED decisions that benefit you and the Township you live in? Is your Council SPENDING MONEY WISELY to improve the quality of life in your Township? Is your Council WORKING TOGETHER IN A COLLABORATIVE MANNER to better the Township of Cramahe?
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation Debt Clock will be rolling into the Canadian Tire parking lot in Cobourg at 3:00pm today.
At this point in time, each Canadian is carrying a debt burden of $17,405.81, which continues to increase at an astonishing rate.
While the National Debt Clock is about the federal debt, it reminds us that we have a responsibility to monitor our elected officials, and it starts right at home.
After all we did elect them...
Brighton Talking About Closing Railway Level Crossings to Save Money$$$
Did you see in the Brighton Independent how they are talking about closing road(s) where level railway crossings are, so they can save on infrastructure costs? WOW!
That was part of the CCA's presentation to Council - too much infrastructure to maintain in Cramahe. We had no idea this was going on in Brighton too.
We are just so frustrated with the lack of action on the part of Council - with the lack of leadership in Cramahe - that allows the infrastructure to crumble away - and to jeopardize the safety of its citizens. WHAT is going on in Cramahe???
Just to give you perspective:
Alnwick/Haldimand Township is 14 km wide - there are THREE level railway crossings and one AMAZING OVERPASS at Archer's Road. There is more residential development in A/H south of the tracks than there is in Cramahe.
Cramahe Township is 11 km wide. There are 20 TWENTY - let me repeat that - TWENTY!!! level railway crossings and one CONDEMNED overpass at Barnes Road.
Our suggestion was, and still is, that Cramahe needs to do an in-house review of their infrastructure.
Where can they cut down on roads leading south from Hwy 2? Way too many rail crossings to be able to maintain any level of safety.
Pandering to a few crossings so that taxpayers don't squawk, but leaving too many crossings where people are vulnerable, is unequivocally not acceptable.
In fact, there are four roads with level railway crossings in Cramahe where STSCO will not allow school buses to travel due to unsafe conditions. How is this allowed to persist???
Cramahe doesn't need another consultant, just some PLAIN COMMON SENSE! That doesn't even cost any money...WAKE UP COUNCIL!
Railway Level Crossings On FOUR Roads in Cramahe Deemed Unsafe for School Buses
New information was received by the CCA today (June 22, 2016) from STSCO, the company responsible for busing students to school in Cramahe. Presently, there are THREE roads with railway level crossings that STSCO will not permit buses to traverse due to the unsafe conditions, and ONE road where only a small vehicle is permitted to cross the railway level crossings. The crossings that are deemed unsafe are on BARNES ROAD, BELLAMY ROAD and PETERS ROAD. HUNT ROAD is the one where only small vehicles are permitted to cross the railway level crossings.
Presentation to Council and photographs with written descriptions available at following tabs:
- Presentation to Council Cramahe Council - Railway Level Crossing Safety
- Level Crossing Photos Cramahe Council - Railway Level Crossing Safety - Crossing Photo Gallery
CCA Presentation to Council on Conditions of Railway Crossings in Cramahe
At the June 21, 2016 Cramahe Council Meeting last night,
Paul Longo, Vice-President of the Cramahe Community Association and Board Member Ernie Koehl, presented their findings on the conditions at the 20 Level Railway Crossings in Cramahe Township.
• The conditions at four crossings were listed as poor to fair and needing immediate attention, with one crossing on Bellamy Road listed as dangerous. The CN tracks on Bellamy Road have only a STOP sign and cross-bucks, NO bells, lights or gates, yet VIA trains travel at speeds up to 160 km/h through Cramahe Township. This does not comply with Transport Canada safety regulations.
• Over 17,000 level crossings exist across Canada. In 2014 Transport Canada prepared a report of the 500 most dangerous level crossings across the country. Bellamy Road in Cramahe Township ranked at #36.
• Mayor Coombs mentioned that 4-5 years ago, a plan had been proposed to upgrade Bellamy at a cost of $450,000 by Transport Canada and the railways, but it was cancelled. No reason was given for the cancellation.
Longo's presentation posed questions as to whether the Township:
• actively tracks conditions at rail level crossings? The Mayor responded No
• maintains records of Detailed Safety Assessments. DSA’s are to be carried out every five years at each crossing with the railway companies and the local road authority (Cramahe) present. Mayor Coombs replied No
• has a master plan outlining the need for rail crossings relative to the growth of Cramahe. Mayor’s response No
• is considering opportunities to close some of the crossings? Mayor said that had not been looked into, but may not be possible.
The CCA pointed out that Transport Canada offers grants of $20,000 for the closure of a public rail crossing. Cramahe Township presently has 11 roads running south from Hwy 2 with 20 level crossings over an 11km stretch. Comparison: Alnwick/Haldimand has four roads with level crossings over a 14km stretch. One road (Archer's Road) has an overpass. (Townline Road is included in both totals).
Transport Canada also provides contributions up to 50% of a crossing improvement project, which the Railways/Township could apply for.
The CCA recommended that Council designate a staff member to liaise with the CCA on developing institutional knowledge, improve communications with the railway companies, and begin to work on some of the deficiencies that exist in Cramahe.
Councillor Ed van Egmond commented that is was a great job by these men, The Mayor thanked Longo and Koehl on the great presentation, and said that he would get back to the CCA after Council has an opportunity to review the information presented.
When asked by Deputy Mayor Sandra Arthur, Mayor Coombs informed Council that CN Rail had not provided Cramahe with a formal agreement yet for the proposed timber bridge construction for the Barnes Road overpass, as promised at the June 7th Council Meeting. Follow-up was recommended by Arthur.
Council Meetings - Agenda Highlights
Agenda Highlights are available under Council Meetings tab.
Fire Calls Reports
Reports available under Cramahe Council - EMS/Fire tab.
Barnes Road "Timber Bridge" Construction
CCA has been following up on the Barnes Road bridge project. At the June 7th Council Meeting, Mayor Coombs stated that CN had scrapped the idea for a steel replacement bridge. This was due to the fact that Cramahe would have been responsible for 100% of necessary roadwork totalling at least $1,000,000 as well as 15% of the cost of replacing the bridge, estimated at over $1,000,000 ($150,000 for Cramahe). Cramahe just could not afford that. CN came back with a new proposal for a one-lane Timber Bridge, which would require little to no roadwork, and would only cost $900,000, demolition of the existing bridge included. Cramahe would still be responsible for 15% of the cost, but $135,000 is manageable for the Township.
CCA delved into the company that CN told Mayor Coombs they would be using for this project. The company is WRD - Wood Research and Development out of Oregon, United States. Looking at their website, it appeared that they primarily did testing and assessment of existing structures. The CCA posed a simple question to WRD through their website "Does your company build timber bridges, for example as an overpass over railway tracks?" Their response was immediate and there is a link below to a project they completed on behalf of CP Rail in Oshawa, Ontario in 2013. The first part of the presentation shows their inspection and assessment (which does not apply to Barnes Rd bridge), but the latter part shows how they build the structure in their plant, then dismantle and reassemble on site. Pretty impressive stuff!
CCA has posed several questions regarding the timber bridge:
- What is the heaviest vehicle in Cramahe that would cross the bridge in the event of an emergency?
- What is the load capacity of the timber bridge?
- What is the longevity of the bridge?
- What will the bridge look like?
1. CCA contacted Brandon Northrup, Fire Chief for Cramahe, and asked what a fully-loaded pumper truck would weigh. He looked into it and came back with 38,000 lbs (19 tons)! That's a lot of weight.
2. The load capacity will need to be determined, as the company merely states that the load capacity meets the requirements of the local authority. Who is that? Should be Cramahe in our opinion.
3. The longevity of the bridge is claimed to be 100 years, twice that of a steel bridge.
4. The finished bridge looks pretty awesome.
This information has been shared with Council via Mayor Coombs.
June 7, 2016 Council Meeting - Key Issues discussed:
- Cramahe Community Association - Safety at Level Railway Crossings
- CN Rail - Barnes Road Overpass Reconstruction
- Community Care Northumberland Request for Additional Funding to Cover Deficit of $30,162.29
See News & Events Tab for full report.
Community Care Northumberland - June 7, 2016 Council-in-Committee Meeting
Community Care Northumberland's request for additional funding in the amount of $30,162.29 is on the Agenda. This issue was first brought forward to Council at the May 3, 2016 Council Meeting. It was deferred at that time, due to insufficient information. Please read the article below detailing what the issues are. It is expected that Council will once again defer a decision, as more information is being gathered.
NEW Membership Form now available!
Become a member of the CCA today. Simply go to the CCA Membership tab and click on Join Us. Your support is greatly appreciated!
LISTEN to CCA Interview on Northumberland 89.7FM Radio - Week in Review
Gritt Koehl, spokesperson for Cramahe Community Association was interviewed by John Hill, Host of Week in Review on Friday, May 20, 2016 regarding Cramahe's 2016 budget process. You can listen to the interview right here.
Cramahe Township Hires New CBO - May 17, 2016
Mayor Marc Coombs announced today that a new Chief Building Official has been hired by the Township. The successful candidate, Gerald Sproule brings extensive municipal and construction experience, and has held Management and Senior Level positions in both the private and public sector. Mr. Sproule will assume his new position effective May 30, 2016.
2016 Pending Issue Papers
Council was not willing to discuss the Issue Papers for 2016 without the Actuals from 2015 being available. As a result, only the basic Budget was passed without Issue Papers being considered. Council agreed to discuss the 2016 Issue Papers throughout the year. Since the opportunity to discuss the Issue Papers was not available to the taxpayers when the Budget was passed, the CCA submitted written questions/comments for each Issue Paper. To read the CCA's perspective, please click on Financial Accountability & Transparency under the Cramahe Council tab.
May 3, 2016 Basic Budget Passed - Mayor's Vote Required to Break Tie!
The 2016 Cramahe Township Budget was passed by Council at Tuesday’s meeting, but not without controversy.
The 2015 actual figures were NOT available as expected by Councilors for the meeting.
All Councilors expressed their disappointment at not having last year’s figures to aid in their decision making. Councilor Don Clark stated that due to County deadlines, Council needed to move forward on the budget.
After much heated discussion, the vote was split, with two Councilors voting for and two Councilors against. It was necessary for Mayor Marc Coombs to break the tie, voting in favour of the 2016 Cramahe Budget.
Only one Issue Paper, to hire a Summer Planning Student at a cost of $2,531 was approved out of Issue Papers totalling over $7,700,000.
The 2016 Budget results in a 1.74% tax increase for Cramahe taxpayers, which represents a $34 – 51 tax increase for the average homeowner.