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Hefty cleanup bill for December storm

The Grand River Conservation Authority is expecting the bill for cleanup following December’s ice storm to come to around $275,000.
The storm damaged thousands of trees on the conservation authority’s 20,000 hectares of land, and damage is so heavy that some popular areas and trails have not yet seen work crews, said the organization’s latest newsletter.
Dozens of staff have been working steadily since December, with the help of four private tree firms, to clear out hazardous trees and branches, it said. As well, trained volunteers from snowmobile clubs have been working on some trails, and the conservation authority’s seasonal staff will be recalled early to help with the cleanup.
The organization estimates its forestry costs could be as high as $200,000, and the cost for hydro repairs is expected to be around $75,000, the newsletter said. “The GRCA is looking for ways to cover these costs,” it said.
In the meantime, “No Trespassing” signs have been posted at trails, parks and natural areas to deter people from using these areas while crews continue with cleanup.
Park staff have the authority under provincial law to issue trespassing tickets. They will issue tickets to people who ignore requests to leave a property or who return after having been asked to leave.

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