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)
October 14, 2016 - Northumberland 89.7 FM Radio - Week in Review Interview
John Hill and Jim Glover interviewed Gritt Koehl, CCA and Lydia Smith, CTA (Cobourg Taxpayers Association) today, highlighting how local radio has helped the associations to bring key issues before Council and to help share important information with taxpayers/residents in their communities. To listen to the interview, click on the link below.
Northumberland 89.7 FM is a volunteer run, not for profit radio station, keeping residents informed and entertained throughout the County. In addition to a great variety of music, the station also airs local news & weather. Several talk shows with a variety of hosts, offer citizens, community groups and local government an opportunity to keep residents informed of what is going on in their community.
89.7 is in the midst of a fundraising campaign to raise $15,000 to cover its operating costs for the coming year. The CCA recognizes the vital role a "truly local radio" station plays in keeping key issues facing taxpayers/residents at the forefront of local Councils.
Please support your local radio station Northumberland 89.7 FM Radio. Please donate today! You can make a donation online through their website, which is accessible under our Links tab, or drop your donation off at the station at 1000 Elgin Street, Cobourg.
October 5, 2016 Summary of Meeting with Cramahe CAO Craig Brooks, Councillor Don Clark and CCA Paul Longo, Ernie Koehl and Gritt Koehl
Issues associated with the rail corridor through Cramahe were summarized using satellite images of the rail corridor and the Official Plan for the Township. Particular emphasis was placed on the close proximity of the existing railway level crossings.
There is a need to review rail infrastructure and make informed decisions as to rail crossings that should be closed and those that need to be repaired to proper standards. A short term and a longer term plan are required. In the short term informed decisions need to be made regarding the Barnes Road Bridge and the Bellamy Road level crossing.
In order to develop a credible plan, the CCA position is that a senior CN staff member from engineering (not from PR), needs to be assigned to do a review of the level crossing situation in Cramahe. This review needs to be done in conjunction with Cramahe CAO and a Cramahe Roads Authority (perhaps the Foreman who knows Cramahe Township the best).
There is a need to establish a Reserve Fund for Railway Infrastructure Safety and Whistle Cessation. Seed money could come from the Working reserve fund. Starting with the 2017 Budget, an amount needs to be allocated annually to the Reserve Fund.
Regarding #3 above, we did not get to discuss this point in detail due to time constraints. Craig Brooks is in contact with Drew Redden, who does Public Relations for CN. He is not the expert that the Township needs to help assess the actual conditions at the 10 CN level crossings and the condemned overpass. We trust that you will pursue a meeting with a crossing specialist from CN, because that is truly what is needed at this point.
Regarding #4 above, you indicated that you would speak with Julie Oram and Nicole Leach-Bihun to discuss the recommendations we have brought forward, and what would be required to allow this to happen.
Thank you for taking the time to meet with us and listen to our concerns. We look forward to hearing from you on these matters.
CAO Craig Brooks Reply to Oct 5/16 Summary of Meeting
Thanks to Gritt, Ernie and Paul for taking the time to speak to us about the railway crossings and broader subject matter around infrastructure renewal. The plan with our new organizational structure and staff, is to refine our asset management plan, implement engineered based end of life capital renewal forecasting and developing long term capital infrastructure plans that will better the entire Township. This, inevitably, will include upkeep of grade crossings. I plan on fully reviewing your report and data you have put together to understand it completely.
Chief Administrative Officer
Township of Cramahe
September 30, 2016 Northumberland 89.7FM Radio - Week in Review
Live interview on Friday's Week in Review show with John Hill, Jim Glover and Gritt Koehl highlighting the safety and infrastructure issues along the railway corridor in the Township of Cramahe. One point that needs to be made clearer is the maximum speed of trains allowed on a Class 5 Track, which the two CN tracks that run through Cramahe are designated as. Class 5 tracks allow freight trains to travel up to 129 km/hr and passenger trains can travel up to 145 km/h.
September 28, 2016 Bellamy Road Level Crossing Revisited
CN responded to the July 11, 2016 letter from the Cramahe Community Association on September 21, 2016. The following is a quote from the letter regarding the level crossing at Bellamy Road.
“In regards to Bellamy Road, the crossing is currently compliant, however CN met with the Township and with Transport Canada in June, 2016 to discuss potential improvements to the crossing. CN is scheduled to perform maintenance at the crossing and upgrade the protection from a passive to an active warning system this fall.”
On September 28, 2016 two board members from the CCA visited the Bellamy Road CN level crossing. It was noted that previously reported sinkholes had been filled with cold patch asphalt but were already starting to deteriorate.
As a reminder there are two tracks at the Bellamy Road CN crossing with no lights, no bells, no gates - only a stop sign and crossbucks. These tracks are designated as Class 5. A video was taken of a VIA train approaching the level crossing.
If you watch the video, you will see that from the sound of the first horn, the train fully occupied the crossing in LESS THAN 7 SECONDS. There is not a lot of traffic on Bellamy. South of the CN tracks there is one house (between the CN and CP tracks), something that appears like a trailer camp (on the west side of Bellamy just north of the CP tracks), a vacant house at the end of Bellamy and a house associated with some sort of agricultural business located on a laneway that travels to the west from Bellamy. Despite this, minutes before the train arrived, a heavy stone slinger truck was observed slowly making its way across the two tracks at the level crossing. If the driver had missed spotting the train before it sounded its horn, a collision would have been unavoidable. There are so many regulations, rules, many different acts/documents and internal railway safety documents that figuring out what meets regulations/rules/laws, boggles the mind. How this crossing could be deemed “compliant” defies logic.
September 21, 2016 Email Response From Drew Redden (CN Ontario PR Lead)
You can read the response here CN Email Response
September 20, 2016 Council Meeting - Presentation by Steve Koehl, Colborne Creek Resident
Read the presentation here (Whistle Cessation at Ontario and Victoria Streets)
Northumberland Today coverage of the presentation is available here (Northumberland Today Article)
September 9, 2016 Letter to Transport Canada
When there was no response to the CCA July 11, 2016 letter to the CN executive a followup letter was sent to Transport Canada (with copies to CN) on September 9, 2016. You can read the letter here (Letter to Transport Canada) or or under the Railways/Rail Level Crossings Safety tab.
September 6, 2016 Council Meeting
At the Cramahe Council Meeting Sept 6, 2016, Burke Friedrichkeit President of the Cramahe Community Association, questioned Mayor Marc Coombs as to whether there has been any correspondence from CN regarding the reconstruction of the Barnes Road Railway Bridge.
The Mayor said they have heard nothing back from CN, even though Mayor Coombs had stated last June that the bridge would be completed sometime in the fall.
Friedrichkeit pointed out that there appeared to be a complete lack of commitment on the part of CN and Cramahe Township to get this project going. He suggested that a better option may be to not build the bridge at all, close the crossing since it has been condemned for four years already, and put the money saved towards other much-need railway crossing upgrades in Cramahe.
Craig Brooks, the new CAO for Cramahe, said that he would be looking into this issue and would consider the possibility of not rebuilding the bridge.
The proposed Northumberland Waste Transfer Facility to be built in Cramahe’s Industrial Park was another hot topic raised to Council. A concerned resident of the Township, Doug Harrison, asked Mayor Coombs to explain how 40 to 50 trucks of “construction waste” could be compacted into 3 or 4 transport trucks on a daily basis, since wood, concrete, drywall and metals are not easily crushed.
Harrison pressed for information as to what materials the Ministry of the Environment had approved in the license granted to Roger Cheer for the Waste Transfer Facility.
The Mayor was not able to provide those details.
Cheer has stated that everything from household garbage and electronics to construction and demolition waste will be handled by the facility to be shipped to the United States for disposal.
At the Council meeting on August 23rd Mayor Coombs told Council and residents that it was his understanding that it was “construction waste” that was the primary focus of the facility.
Residents will be seeking further clarification from Council on this matter.
August 26, 2016 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.
July 11, 2016 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 (Letter to CN) or under the Railways/Rail Level Crossings Safety tab. Depending on the response, the CCA may need to raise the profile of the matter with Transport Canada and the media.
June 22, 2016 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.
June 21, 2016 CCA Delegation to Council - Presentation and Level Crossing Photos available at following tabs:
Presentation to Council Railways/Railway Level Crossing Safety
Level Crossing Photos Railways/Railway Level Crossing Safety/Crossing Photo Gallery
Fire Department Service Call Reports
Reports available under Cramahe Council - EMS/Fire tab.
June 7, 2016 Community Care Northumberland - 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.
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.