* Notice of new HCBP construction *
When the City said they’d cancel work until Spring, they were lying… Infrastructure work is set to begin any day, work that is just as integral to the HCBP project as this summer’s thwarted culvert attempt. The newest contract is awarded to XTerra Construction of Kitchener-Waterloo. It is to connect the HCBP site to the City’s water, electrical, and telecommunications infrastructure, by tunneling pipes below the Hanlon expressway. The contract is for $1.7 million, and includes $621,294 in funding from the federal government.
See the City’s news release for more info, 4th paragraph down: www.guelph.ca/newsroom_display.cfm?itemID=78149
* City applies for loophole in Endangered Species Act*
On October 26, Guelph city council unanimously voted to apply for an exemption to responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act, regarding the threatened Jefferson Salamander on the site. There are many exemptions written into these acts that make them rather toothless. In the spirit of environmental protection, the city asked to be able to do pretty much whatever they want on the HCBP site, regardless of next Spring’s salamander search. The MNR approved work on 2 of 4 of the sites the City was pushing for. It’s pretty dirty. Well-established environmental groups have come out against these exemptions as indicative of the failure of the political system to protect the land.
You can read about it here: http://ward2guelph.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/hcbp-mnrs-go-ahead-for-interim-work/
and from the council’s minutes, on page 463: http://www.guelph.ca/uploads/Council_and_Committees/Council/2006/council_agenda_102609.pdf
This allows the City to do more infrastructure work sooner than we thought. In the same press release cited above, they say:
“The second project includes construction of a 300 metre section of road north of Laird Road and related site work to the blocks of land east of this road. These lands are owned by Belmont Equity Partners Inc. and this project is expected to begin later in 2010.
“The MNR approved these projects to proceed, prior to the salamander monitoring work that will begin on the site in March, as the potential for the Jefferson Salamander to be present in these areas is not likely.”