George resigns as roads superintendent Cites time commitment

After an in-camera session of Alberton council last Wednesday night, it was announced that roads superintendent Larry George, along with his company, Wayne George Grading Ltd., had submitted a letter of resignation.
“It’s basically time constraints,” George explained Thursday afternoon, noting his company has been working in the Quetico area and he is out of the township Monday through Friday.
“I can’t give the job the attention they’re looking for,” he added. “I love the job and the people and I wish I could sort it out somehow, but I just don’t have the time.”
George, who has held the position of roads superintendent for the past four years, noted when he is home on the weekends, he wants to be able to spend time with his children.
And he hopes the residents of Alberton understand.
“It’s the kind of job where you have to be there in person, you can’t do it over the phone, and you have to be available,” George stressed.
“I don’t want to let things fall apart. I want to leave on a good note,” he added.
With the way the contracts were structured, the resignation also is terminating the roads’ contracts with his company. There is a 60-day notice period for all these contracts.
“I’m going to see through the capital work projects,” George pledged. “I’m familiar with it and want to make sure I follow it through.”
These projects include the resurfacing of Hall Road, Stewart Road, and Ducharme Road, along with some other work.
George said he would miss the position greatly.
“It really was a valuable experience and broadened my horizons,” he remarked, saying he knows the roads are very important to the community’s residents.
“I think there are some experienced people who will also be able to serve them well.”
At this time, Alberton council is not at liberty to discuss what the township will do regarding replacement services, but they recall having had a very good experience with George and his company.
“He’s going to be hard to replace,” noted Coun. Mike Ford. “He’s been an asset to the community. He’s definitely after the community’s best interest.
“He’s a heck of a guy to work with.”
Coun. Ford said not only did George “tell you the way things were,” he also saved the township a lot of money over the years.
In other business last Wednesday night, Alberton council agreed to go ahead with the surfacing of Hall Road.
While George, in a written report, had recommended not surfacing it until next year, this was due to the cost because the road base needs more work than initially thought.
His concerns were diminished as council agreed to tap the reserve for capital projects for the cost over-runs for the excavation work.
The road must be well compacted to surface this year.
“If [George] thinks it’ll be all right, let’s go for it and get it done,” said Coun. Doug Mitchell.
“If it’s hard enough to do, we should go ahead with it,” echoed Reeve Mike Hammond.
Also at last week’s meeting, Alberton council:
•accepted the road surfacing tender from MSO Construction Ltd., although they did not budge on the tendered price because of high oil prices;
•agreed upon a date (July 19) to meet with Rainy River Future Development Corp. staff member Jessie Zhang regarding information on a Community Improvement Plan for the township;
•reviewed a letter and an e-mail from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation which stated it will put dust suppressant on the portion of Frog Creek Road when they do work on it;
•approved reimbursement to four residents under the Alberton Non-Resident Library Fee Reimbursement Program;
•heard reports from Coun. Barb Cournoyer regarding the most recent meeting of the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board and Coun. Louis Collier regarding the RRFDC’s annual meeting last month;
•agreed to support the RRFDC’s Community Investment Readiness Test; and
•passed a resolution supporting the 2006 Action Plan for Emergency Public Education and Awareness Program.
Alberton council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 9 starting at 7 p.m. at the municipal office.