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Nobleton councillor's gripe over spending grates on some

Aug. 29, 2014
By Tim Kelly

They didn’t have pistols at 10 paces, but a pair of Township councillors did get into a verbal duel about the merits of funding at council Monday evening.

The sparring match was sparked by an old and often-raised gripe from Nobleton’s Peter Grandilli.

“What about the poor cousins of Nobleton, do we get something?” Grandilli asked when a sidewalk repair project for King City was proposed.

The project, which will involve streetscape improvements on both sides of Keele Street, south of King Road, including fibre optic cables being laid under the street, is a shared municipal and regionally-funded initiative.

It will cost the Township $141,818 in 2014 and $94,359 in 2015. King is attempting to get 33 per cent to 50 per cent in shared funding from the Region.

Grandilli’s Nobleton grumbling struck a nerve with King’s Cleve Mortelliti.

“I can’t stand by and listen to you say this, Coun. Grandilli,” he said. “You keep saying, ‘The poor cousins of Nobleton’. How much money has been spent in Nobleton in this term? You recently got a state-of-the art hardball baseball diamond built in Nobleton that cost, I don’t know, $1.5 million?”

When Grandilli replied that he didn’t ask for that.

Mortelliti fired back, “So you don’t want that?”

“I didn’t say I didn’t want it,” said Grandilli.

Mortelliti went on to say the Nobleton Arena floor had been replaced at a cost of between $700,000 to $800,000.

“You didn’t want that either for the residents of Nobleton? They don’t need that either, is that correct?” Mortelliti said.

Grandilli said the repairs to the arena had to be done.

“It’s been 30 years, that floor should have been done years ago,” Grandilli said.

Mortelliti said Grandilli doesn’t understand that money is being spent in Nobleton.

“I think every councillor realizes that Schomberg needs new sidewalks. Nobleton needs new sidewalks and so does King City,” he said.

“They’re going be tearing up the sidewalk anyway,” Mortelliti said. “It would be ridiculous not to take advantage of this particular opportunity. That’s basically what this recommendation is. By chance, it happens to replace a bunch of old sidewalk that needs to be replaced.

“The plan is also, if you’ve noticed, it’s at least $1.5 million to do the same type of streetscape infrastructure upgrades at the intersection of Hwy. 27 and King Road in Nobleton, which we’ve all basically endorsed in a previous report to council. Obviously, everything can’t happen all at once.”

Morelliti finished by slamming Grandilli.

“For you to come out and say that (Nobleton is neglected), that’s a smack in the face to other members of council when we’ve all been trying to support every village,” he said.

In the end, cooler heads prevailed and Mortelliti’s motion for the Keele Street project was passed, with the support of Grandilli and the rest of council.