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City councillor educates us on second law of thermodynamics

Mayor Shoemaker wants to see more demolitions to make room for duplexes and other multi-residential properties
German physicist and mathematician Rudolf Clausius is considered one of founding fathers of thermodynamics. He was the first to express the basic elements of the second law of thermodynamics in 1850. Fifteen years later, Clausius introduced the concept of entropy

Ward 3 Coun. Ron Zagordo, a retired science teacher, invoked the second law of thermodynamics last week to help convince his city council colleagues to get serious about bulldozing decrepit buildings.

Developed in the 1850s, the second law of thermodynamics declares that the state of entropy (disorder) of the entire universe, as an isolated system, always increases over time.

"As we all know, laws of physics – more specifically the second law of thermodynamics – [state that] entropy increases as time goes on if you don't put any kind of effort or energy into that," Zagordo said.

He and Ward 2 Coun. Luke Dufour proposed putting cash into that.

In a resolution presented on behalf of Mayor Shoemaker, Dufour and Zagordo requested that the local Affordable Housing Task Force set a target amount for a property demolition reserve.

Their resolution asked that the task force determine the criteria to be used to access the demolition reserve, and options for replenishing it as it's spent, saving the Sault from descending into entropic chaos.

"Not just for the laws of physics alone, I think that we need to stay on top of some of the derelict properties around the city, making sure that we keep our city as beautiful as we can," Zagordo said.

Late last year, when GFL Environmental agreed to buy back garbage bins from the city, city council agreed to set aside $250,000 to establish a property demolition fund with criteria to be set by staff pursuant to a future council resolution.

"This is a follow-up on that, to set up a proper demolition fund so that we can start tackling some of the more challenging demolitions we've got in town," said Mayor Matthew Shoemaker.

The mayor acknowledged that some demolitions have been taking place recently.

"I'd like to see more of it because as we demolish derelict properties, those properties can be intensified on use with duplexes, triplexes or multi-residential buildings, to try to intensify the use of existing serviced city property."

The Dufour/Zagordo resolution was approved unanimously by city council.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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