For a small Township with a population of just over 6,000 residents and a low number of taxpayers, Cramahe sure does have a lot of infrastructure. We did try to find out how many taxpayers there are, but staff could only estimate around 2,300. To highlight some of the infrastructure:

  • Waste Water Treatment Plant ($8,000,000 upgrade completed)
  • Large bore sewer system (Colborne)
  • Small bore sewer system (predominantly Industrial Park area) 
  • 140 Roads covering 222 kms (urban & rural mix of paved, surface treated and/or gravel)
  • 20 level railway crossings (2 level crossings are the responsibility of Northumberland County - Ontario St CN & CP)

Railway infrastructure issues are covered under the Infrastructure/Rail Infrastructure tab

The Waste Water Treatment Plant was recently upgraded, but it sounds like the small bore sewer system is in need of replacement and/or upgrade. Sewers and waste water treatment plants are very costly to build, maintain and upgrade. Usually you find sewers & such in densely populated urban centres, not in small villages or hamlets. When Cramahe decided to get into the sewer & waste water treatment business in the early 1960's, they approached the Township next door (now Alnwick/Haldimand) to partner with them on the project. A/H wisely declined knowing there was not enough of a tax base to support such expensive infrastructure. Refer to the Infrastructure/Sewer Infrastructure tab 

On top of that, many roads are in bad shape, and approaches to level railway crossings need resurfacing. The CCA has prepared a summary of the 2012 D.M. Wills Roads Needs Study available under the Infrastructure/Road Infrastructure tab

With increasing train traffic and horn technology, Whistle Cessation is an absolute necessity moving forward for the mental health & well-being of residents living close to the many level crossings where train horns blast 24/7. Whistle cessation would also be advantageous to developing any open lands along the railway corridor, thereby increasing the tax base.

In reality, there is so much infrastructure in Cramahe that needs fixing, it is impossible for the Township to do it all with the reserves it has and the small existing tax base. Council and Staff must recognize the need for help, and not be afraid to ask for it. Don't hire more consultants, unless 100% necessary. Instead seek assistance, advice & funding from Northumberland County, the Provincial and Federal Governments, Transport Canada and absolutely from CN and CP! 

That is why it is essential for the Township Staff to assess what needs to be fixed immediately, and get on with it. Spend some of the reserves now. Next step would be for Staff to set priorities for projects to be completed over the next few years and plan for future projects beyond that.

Above all, the priority of the Finance Department and Operations & Roads has to be to get applications done and apply for grants/funds from wherever they can now, and for the future.