|Back to Home||Feature Article - July 5, 2012|
South Frontenac Council - Jul 3/12By Wilma Kenny
Prior to the July 5 meeting, Council hosted an open house and tour of the freshly renovated Township hall and office spaces. With the exception of Public Works (at Keeley Road), all the township services are now located together in Sydenham. Mayor Davison complimented staff, particularly CEO Orr, for their hard work and patience during renovations. Council chambers have been rearranged with Council sitting at a horseshoe table, thus providing considerably more space for delegations, spectators,etc.
Council members have elegant new chairs, but the spectators’ gallery is back to using the familiar orange plastic: we’re going to miss those comfy library chairs!
Severance/Parkland Fee Policy Needed
Darlene Clement of Storrington District came to Council on behalf of her father, who owns and wishes to sever two adjoining farm which have been merged, although the properties still have separate roll numbers and tax bills.
At issue is the Township’s requirement of a fee of “up to 5% of the value of the severed property, in lieu of parkland.” Ms Clement’s argument is that the fee, which could be substantial, is unfair because two old farms are simply being separated again.
While not common, this is a situation that occurs from time to time: after discussion, Council asked staff to draft a parkland fee policy for properties which have merged through common ownership, and are being re-severed.
New Three-way Stop in Sydenham
Stating, “It’s more good fortune than good management that there hasn’t been an accident,” Public Works Manager Segsworth proposed a by-law which would create an all-way stop at the corner of Church and William Streets in Sydenham. This will come into effect as soon as the signs are posted.
Sydenham Water System Operation & Maintenance
Council accepted Segsworth’s recommendation that the Township extend the contract of the current water plant operator (Kingston Utilities) until December 2014, in order to gain ‘operational experience.” Much of the focus to date has been on improving the water treatment plant, and addressing the THM (trihalomethane) issues. The emphasis is now shifting to the distribution system: “New development and infrastructure repair and maintenance around the distribution system are creating new demands. We are still at the early stages of the learning curve...our focus for the next year or so should be on connecting all properties located within the existing Water Service Area,” Segswoth said.
Township Entrance Signs
Council selected a design for new road signs which will include the township motto and population. There was unanimous agreement on a design clearly featuring the township name in an oval that some may find a bit reminiscent of a popular coffee shop chain. But what’s wrong with appearing familiar, Canadian and welcoming?
New Use for Hartington’s Stone School House
Representatives of Portland and District Heritage Society were delighted with Council’s agreement to enter into a fixed-term renewable lease which will permit the Society to use the old Hartington School House for storage of historical materials. The Society will look after routine maintenance, and the Township will continue to provide heat, hydro and insurance. The previous tenants, Neighbourhood Sharing, have relocated to the adjacent Princess Anne building.
Verona Lions Plead for Consistency in Township Support
Deputy Mayor McDougall read a letter to Council, signed by himself, outlining the many benefits provided the community by the Verona Lions’ Club’s Hall and adjoining ball diamonds, etc. Over the years, the Township has charged taxes for the property, but also provided varying levels of support, recently in the form of mowing part of the playing fields. The letter asked for a township commitment to a consistent level of support, so the Lions would know what to expect and be able to plan their annual budget accordingly.
Before setting policy about support of non-township owned facilities (Storrington’s Ken Garrett Park is in a similar situation) Council asked for more information from staff.
Expansion of Latimer Cemetery
Council approved the purchase of land to expand Latimer Cemetery, in Storrington District. It’s been agreed that the Township will acquire one-quarter of an acre on behalf of the cemetery, in exchange for: “$10,000, two grave lots, four cornerstones, and HST.”
No more meetings in July
Council will meet next on August 7. There are no Committee of the Whole meetings scheduled for the summer.