Huron East votes to assist association with Logan's Mill purchase
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron East Council has voted to assist the Huron East/Brussels Community Trust in the acquisition of the Brussels Mill property, for use by the Maitland Mills Association.
The specific motion details the lands named in the deal, which include the Brussels Mill building and its immediate surrounding property, but excludes the Brussels Dam, the land it immediately sits upon and the lands lying north and east of the Middle Maitland River.
This came after the Trust passed a motion at its May 26 meeting, authorizing the Trust to purchase the Brussels Conservation Area and the dam. The motion specified that the Municipality of Huron East would assist with the current provisions, which include lawn maintenance, garbage removal, insurance, grant/funding applications, dam stop log installation and removal, charitable donation assistance and decommissioning of the dam (when applicable).
In his report to council, Chief Administrative Officer Brad McRoberts said he and municipal staff had concerns about purchasing the land from the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority as a whole, specifically the dam, as the municipality doesn’t have the resources to manage the dam itself.
“Staff undertook a site visit and confirmed that the structure itself is substantial. While the dam may not be serving its original purpose as it is related to the historic mill, the same has evolved into the retention of the mill pond, which provides aesthetic and recreational use,” McRoberts said in his report. “The dam also serves to ensure that sufficient water is retained to maintain base stream flows to the Middle Maitland River, which is important to aquatic life within the downstream portions of the river.
“[The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority] has staff and resources to monitor the conditions of the watershed and respond to seasonal conditions accordingly. These resources are not within existing Huron East resources.”
McRoberts recommended splitting the two properties to ensure clear ownership of the mill with the Maitland Mills Association and ownership of the dam with the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority.
“The acquisition of the parklands on the north side of the river, excluding the dam and the property it sits upon, can be pursued at a later date,” McRoberts said in his report. “The municipality provides limited maintenance to the parklands, including grass maintenance and deadfall removal. Huron East also provides resources to assist the [Maitland Valley Conservation Authority] in removing/setting the logs in the dam. This would continue in its current form.”
Council approved McRoberts’ recommendation.