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Burlington Ward 6 Rural Broadband Internet Project Update: March 4, 2022

STOCK_Ward 6 Rural Broadband Project Update_BLOG

Please see below this week’s project update for the Rural Ward 6 Internet Broadband project, as we continue working with stakeholders and residents to push the essential implementation of rural broadband.

We look forward to meeting with the residents informally on Thursday (March 10) from 5-6 p.m. Details for how to join can be found further down this post.

Update as of March 3, 2022:

Approvals

The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) has completed a preliminary review of the submission from the applicant, Internet Access Solutions/Standard Broadband (IASL). While revisions are required, the NEC is prepared to move ahead with conditional approval next week.

Related agencies (Conservation Halton and Region of Halton) have committed to providing comments to the NEC by today (Friday, March 4). The applicant will receive all comments on Friday so that they can begin to address them.

Once the NEC permit is conditionally approved, notice must be sent to residents and that mailing is already prepared with envelopes and addresses. There is a two-week period in which anyone can appeal the approval. The applicant will be able to work on revisions outlined in NEC, Halton Region and Conservation Halton comments during the 2-week appeal period in order to not delay issuance of the Development Permit.

After the two-week appeal period has elapsed, final revised drawings addressing all NEC and agency comments can be stamped and the Niagara Escarpment Development Permit may be issued.

Region of Halton must issue a road occupancy permit, which can be done within a day of the two-week appeal period concluding.

In terms of a best-case scenario for timing, the NEC director can sign off of the permit March 7-8, notice of the decision mailed March 8-9, and the 14-day appeal period concluding on March 23-24. If final drawings have been submitted and they address all comments, the Development Permit may be issued within a couple days allowing for administrative processes, so around March 28 -29.

Construction process

At next week’s all-stakeholder update meeting, IASL/Standard Broadcasting will confirm construction timelines that will be shared in an upcoming update.

Pipelines, Hydro, Creeks, Regional Road construction

At this week’s meeting, IASL/Standard Broadcasting shared additional complexities to the project that they must seek permits for:

Creek Crossings/Hydro:

IASL has identified five large creek crossings and bridges within the project area, on Walkers Line, Appleby Line, Sideroad 2 and 4.

Their hope is to lift the wires over the creeks/bridges, attaching them to Burlington Hydro poles. This will require a permit from Burlington Hydro. IASL has asked Burlington Hydro for information on the application procedure, and the city has requested a meeting with hydro to explain the urgency of this project. The permit to use the poles will be required from Burlington Hydro prior to the city being in a position to issue our Municipal Consent permit, but the parts of the project not impacted by creek crossings can proceed separately.

Pipelines:

IASL has identified several pipelines in the project area, at Bell School Line,

Appleby and Walkers. This will require permits/permission from the owners to construct above or around them to bury cables. Permission from pipelines will be required prior to the city being in a position to issue our Municipal Consent permit, but the parts of the project not impacted by pipelines can proceed separately.

Underground Locates:

IASL must secure locates of underground utilities before construction can proceed. This can take 4-6 weeks. Locates are good for 30 days. IASL will confirm at next week’s meeting when they intend to seek locates.

Road construction:

The Region of Halton has committed to review the regional road construction schedule to ensure no planned construction works happening that would conflict with the internet installation.

Permit Fees

The motion from Councillor Bentivegna and Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to waive the one-time fees for the City’s Municipal Consent Permits for rural broadband was approved unanimously at the March 3 Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee. It goes to City Council on March 22 for final approval.

The full motion can be read here: https://mariannemeedward.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Motion-Memo-Waive-Consent-Fees-Rural-Broadband-March-2022.pdf

Timeline:

Background:

Below is information that has been shared with the community in previous updates, but is restated here for convenience.

Next Steps:

All agencies (Halton Region, Conservation Halton, City of Burlington) have been working in parallel to the NEC process so will be able to issue permits very quickly after NEC issues their permit. For reference:

  • Halton Region’s role is to issue a separate Municipal Consent Permit for Regional Roads.
  • Conservation Halton issues permits for areas within CH regulation.  A permit application will need to be submitted and reviewed and can be issued shortly after the NEC permit is issued.
  • The City of Burlington’s Role is to issue Municipal Consent, Road Occupancy and Load Exemption permits.

March-April 2022

Per the applicant’s webpage, once permits are issued IASL/Standard Broadband will:

  • finalize and post their construction schedule on their webpage
  • order locates for underground utilities, which can take 2-3 weeks.

May-June-July 2022

Per the applicant’s webpage, once locates are issued, IASL/Standard Broadband will:

  • bring in equipment
  • begin construction, which is expected to take three months

Webpage:

The city has set up a dedicated Rural Internet Installation webpage for the two rural broadband projects currently underway here: https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/rural-internet-installation.asp

Please check back regularly for updates. If you have subscribed to the page, you’ll receive an alert each time new information is posted.

Informal Resident Meeting:

The informal residents meeting with the Mayor, Councillor and IASL/Standard Broadband is scheduled for Thursday (March 10) from 5-6 p.m. Details for how to join are below and will also be posted on the project website mentioned above.

 

Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88952812301?pwd=TXJuVDNQb1pGM3ZPNEVYcXRFb29Rdz09

Meeting ID: 889 5281 2301

Passcode: 2BAj0m

 

Or Dial in at: 647 558 0588

Meeting ID: 889 5281 2301

Passcode: 312026

 

Please feel free to share this correspondence with other rural residents who may be interested.

If you have any additional questions, please let us know and we will endeavour to get answers and include them in a future update

Please be assured that we are all working toward the same shared goal of securing rural broadband for our residents as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Marianne & Angelo

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna

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