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Woolwich to revisit concerns about road apples

Woolwich will look to its western neighbour in reviewing what to do about horse manure on roads in the township. And, like the conclusions drawn by Wellesley, that status quo is the likely outcome.

Discussed this week after Coun. Bonnie Bryant raised the concerns of a resident in her ward, the issue has resulted in a do-nothing approach in previous township reviews.

Christine Broughton, director of council and information services, said the township gets inquiries about horse droppings, but has no formal complaints on record. Woolwich has no regulations in place governing road apples.

She noted Wellesley went through a protracted review on 2010, ultimately deciding to do nothing. While horse-drawn vehicles to pose problems with waste strewn on roadways, the alternative also create problems, she said. Requiring horses to be equipped with manure catchers, for instance, raises the question of where to empty the containers. Likewise, having buggy drivers stop to scoop up the mess poses safety concerns, especially if there’s only one occupant.

Sensitive to the concerns raised from time to time – thus acknowledging the review – councillors appeared content with a reminder of the rural nature of the township.

“This is a rural community, we are going to have droppings,” noted Coun. Julie-Anne Herteis.

“I’ll support all horses having a bag when all cars have to have a plastic bag on their tailpipes,” joked Coun. Mark Bauman, who’s been through this discussion before as the only councillor to have served previous terms.

Chief administrative officer David Brenneman added the issue of horse manure is likely to arise periodically as the township grows and new people move in. As with tourists, some will probably come to see it as something that comes with the rural setting.

“I think for some, it’s part of the character.”

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10 comments
  1. Thank you Dr. Holt, you have expressed your opinion in a non attacking way which has led me to re-think there are other options such as the horse bag that you mentioned. I just have a heart for the Mennonite peoples and don’t want to make them feel not wanted. I enjoy Elmira’s uniqueness and friendliness which is the reason I moved here. I did not like living the city life so I moved is what I was trying to say, not a childish remark but someone who finally took the step to better my life instead of complaining..God bless

  2. Ah,To make our town look rural. Where do I start?
    1) We have no “truck routes” to mention they just go where ever they please to deliver thier loads. How can you get driver’s to avoid Tim Horton and McDonald’s (impossible)?Move them out of town further? Foodland has put up signs “No Heavy Trucks or over night parking” There they are still parking in the lot with their engines running!Poor Doug the trucks are ruinning his parking lot!
    2) when I go on the trails for a walk there are dogs loose all the time running around and even in Elmira, dogs are not being tied up.Where is the by-law officier we hired?
    If we can’t put up truck route signs at least place “Please avoid using your engine brakes” at all the directions entering Elmira.It’s too bad but the noisiest ones are from around here ,Feed mill cattle trucksand yes tractors hauling grain through town with kids driving them (at a high rate f speed by the way.
    WellI have to stop here my finger’s are cramping up.
    Cheers

  3. Here Here Dr Dan! I love your take on the matter. PLEASE run for Council next go around. We need the logic of people like you to break down the neo-conservatist leftist ideology of new-age moderistic, probabalistic horse pooper-spray maniacs who have self-indulged the mechanics of auto-deviation~!

  4. I agree with John and Jasmine…i would hope that the uniqueness of Elmira is not the horse poop on the streets. I have a dog and clean up after him because it is the decent and right thing to do, not because there is a bylaw demanding it. By the same token I think that if horse owners really cared about this community they would also clean up after their horses or have a bag on the horse as they do in parades. Horse poop on the streets is unseemly, unhealthy, and not what I want my town to be remembered for. Councilor Herteis logic that this is a rural town so horse poop on the streets is OK would mean that it is OK to have dog poop all over as well…after all that is rural as well. But being rural doesn’t mean that we are uncivilized, unclean, and unhealthy. Councilor Bauman…we have our cars inspected for emissions and, even though it isn’t a plastic bag, we have emission controls on them because we all breathe the air. Missy…to simply say “if you don’t like it move” is childish. My wanting to improve the community is not a bad thing. I guess the fact that too many large diesel trucks roar through downtown and I want to have them by pass the downtown Elmira area so people can enjoy the rural atmosphere and shop is wrong as well…after all it is change and I guess that they too lend to the rural setting. It is the same logic, Missy. We shouldn’t have to legislate this…it should be common courtesy and something that horse owners do because it is the right thing to do. I would still pick up my dog’s poop even if they eliminated (pardon the pun) the by law today.

  5. Start throwing dog crap all over the roads….whats the difference? Better yet everyone throw their dog crap in the parking lot at the township office see how they like tramping through it. Maybe then they will take a better look at the problem of all the horse crap in the streets and parking lots.

  6. Oh come on now Missy. Animal droppings are animal droppings and they have no business being left on the road for other people to step in or even worse have their small children step in it. I dont let me dogs mess on other peoples lawns and you equating this to having one “mop up dog urine” is juvenile. I find it hard to believe that horse manure is what you find “charming” about this town and tourists do not come here for that reason either. There is nothing wrong with asking them to have bags behind their horses, it is common in any other city in the world. And you are right, manure grows our food so maybe they should pick it up and sent it back to the farmers because it is a smelly nuisance on our streets. Jasmine, I agree with you 150%!! Maggie, you clearly havent lived her elong enough to be annoyed but it’s cute that you find poo so charming.

  7. The smells in Elmira are from the manure that is spread on the farmers fields that grow your food. Tourists come here all the time because of the uniqueness of our Mennonite peoples. Again if locals don’t like it here they can move. Don’t forget to take a mop to clean up the urine your dog leaves on everyone’s grass or better yet attach a bag or diaper to your pooch.

  8. I live on a street that is frequently used by the horse and buggies and therefore is frequently crapped on. It’s discusting that I drive over it, it gets on the driveway and then I’m sure I step on it and carry it into my home. The problem I have is that, as a dog owner I have to clean up my dogs “road apples”, which I have no problem with because it’s disgusting and disrespectful to leave that on someone elses lawn. The township has a bylaw and agrees that it’s not right to leave dog crap on lawns, but it’s ok to leave horse crap on the road, that doesn’t makes sense. What about if I put my dogs fecise on the road, is that ok? Because I’m seriously starting to think about it!

    And as for the issue of where to empty the buckets if the horse used them, bring it home! I carry a bag of dog poop home and dispose of it. Or there are containers, like at dog parks, that could be set up wherever horses can be tied up.

    I realize that I moved here and they were here first, but the times they are a changing, and they live in our world now. Does Elmira want to be the town known for smelling like horse poop? Because people say that already! I don’t think tourist will come for that!

  9. I moved here a few years ago from a huge city and I’m still in awe of this country life. The horse and buggies have been here long before most of us or our parents were even born. We came to their town not the other way around. Big deal some doo doo on the roads, if the complainers are so concerned then move to another town where there are no buggies. Like the old saying goes 1st come 1st served…giddy up horsey !

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