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Central Frontenac Council - jul 10/12by Jeff Green
Council does Arden – or vice versa
A conjunction of groups, led by the Friends of Arden and including the Kennebec Recreation Committee, the Arden Seniors, and the Big Clear and Kennebec Lake Associations, arrived in force for the annual Central Frontenac Council meeting in Arden on Tuesday, July 10.
As an added incentive, the Arden groups prepared a meal for the council members. But first they had them sit through a varied 30-minute presentation that included updates on the work of the Friends of Arden over the last year; a proposal for a new entrance to the Arden Recreation Park; a report on the Kennebec Lake Association’s activities; and a thank you to the fire and emergency services by the Blue Heron Ridge Lake Association.
Terry Kennedy from the Friends of Arden began the presentation. He said that the ‘Friends’ developed as a group in late 2010 and began to take action on a list of 29 priorities in May of 2011.
“As you can see,” he said, referring to a list of projects and their state of completion, “we have initiated action or completed 25 of those 29, as well as other projects that were not on the original list, but which came to our attention afterwards,” said Kennedy.
The township completed a number of the initiatives, such as work on the sidewalks and on the bridge in the middle of the hamlet. Others, such as doing a cleanup, establishing some branding initiatives and setting up a website, were done by the Friends of Arden themselves, sometimes in conjunction with the township or other community partners.
Looking forward, the Friends have a number of long- term projects in mind. One that involves the township is a proposal for a land swap with a landowner who lives next to the Arden park. In order to vastly improve the entrance to the park, a direct driveway through the landowner’s property is proposed, and according to David Daski of the Friends, the landowner would be interested in a land swap in favour of a piece of township land that has little actual or potential value to the township but would expand the landowner's holdings.
Council decided to instruct staff to investigate the possible land swap.
The Friends of Arden are also planning to apply to Frontenac County, under the small scale community initiatives program that the county has established, for financial help in improving signage in Arden. Council voted to support the application.
The Friends also sought and received a commitment from the township to help with this fall’s Arden clean-up.
Road 38 closure leads to hand wringing
The month of July is probably not the optimal time to divert traffic on a major artery to cottage country, but in a couple of weeks that is exactly what will be happening on Road 38 in Central Frontenac. CP Rail will be repairing the railway crossing at Tichborne, and the road will be closed in both directions between Tuesday July 24, and Thursday, July 26.
There are major implications for traffic, because the only viable alternative may be to divert northbound traffic in Parham to the Long Lake Road or to the Fish Creek Road in Tichborne, and southbound to the Bradshaw, Bobs Lake and Fish Creek roads, which are relatively narrow gravel roads.
There was a lot of hand wringing over the closure when it was brought to Central Frontenac Council this week, but in the end the decision was made to go ahead with the closure.
The township had pushed hard for the CP to fix the crossing, which is in dire need of improvement. Councilors wondered, however, why CP has decided to do the project in the middle of the summer tourist season, when Road 38 is at its busiest, as are the roads that will be used as detours.
Complete details about detours and timing will be available on the township website and in the Frontenac News next week.
Sharbot Lake Community Improvement Plan
The timing may not have been perfect for the township to receive the draft Community Improvement Plan (CIP) for Sharbot Lake on the day they were meeting in Arden, as there is lingering resentment among Arden residents over the interest the township has historically expressed in economic development within Sharbot Lake, which has the bulk of the commercial and institutional infrastructure within Central Frontenac, in addition to housing the township office.
The draft plan will be the subject of a public meeting at the Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake tonight, July 12, at 6:30 pm.
The draft identifies a number of goals, including the improvement of five businesses and the establishment of two new businesses within five years; improvements to the commercial areas on Hwy. 7 and on Elizabeth street in the core of the village; better signage, etc.
Under the plan, $70,000 will be available from Frontenac County each year and $10,000 from Central Frontenac for matching grants for local businesses looking to improve their physical look and entranceway or make them more accessible.
Council was asked to receive the document for information at this meeting, on the expectation that the plan will receive final approval at next month's meeting, once the public meeting has been held and recommendations are incorporated.
The Community Improvement Plan area was defined in the draft plan as a long and narrow strip running from Brewer Road to the south, to Highway 7 in the north, roughly
Councilor Norm Guntensperger pointed out that there is no requirement that the CIP be limited to such a small region within the commercial core of Sharbot Lake.
“We are entirely within our power and jurisdiction to delineate the entire township as the project area. I see no reason why certain businesses should be excluded,” said Guntensperger
“I think the CIP is an important first step,” said Mayor Janet Gutowski. “Including the entire township would be difficult; it would be like putting gravel on every road every year. It is spread too thin and does no good. We have had experts look at the entire county, and they advised we need to focus on certain areas. We have an enthusiastic group in Arden, and we made some investments in Arden a couple of years ago, which acted as a catalyst to some of the things that are happening in Arden today. Targeted investments can be effective and that’s what this is about.”
Gutowski then invited Guntensperger to attend the public meeting on the CIP, pointing out that he had never done so before.
Guntensperger ignored Gutowski’s final comment, sticking instead to his main point
“I think in building a community, you don’t divide it,” he said.
In a vote to receive the draft CIP for information, Councilor Guntensperger was the only no vote.
Later in the meeting Guntensperger proposed a motion to extend the CIP to the entire township, making particular note of what it could do to enhance the Arden revitalisation efforts that had been the subject of much of the meeting.
Mayor Gutowski said that opening up the CIP to the entire township would slow its implementation.
In a recorded vote, eight members of the nine-member Council supported Gutowski’s view and Guntensperger’s motion was defeated.
OPP reports costing models to council
Members of the Sharbot Lake and Lanark OPP detachments made a presentation at council's request regarding costs and models of service. Attending the presentation were Sgts. Paul Ross and Paul Legault, Inspector Gerry Salsbury and Provincial Constable David Blair. Sgt. Paul Legault began the presentation by outlining the two different models available to municipalities and how their costs differ; the first being a contract model and the second a non-contract model. The differences between the two are that in the first, OPP staff costs are fixed for the full term of the contract, whereas in the second the costs are adjusted at year's end to reflect the actual staffed hours. Other differences are that in the first, OPP staff are authorized to enforce area by-laws where as in the second, non-contract model they are not. Similarly in the first model staff are eligible for grants to run special programs like the RIDE program where in the second they are not eligible for additional programs. Sgt. Legault also outlined the current new costing formula which was undated in 2012. Following his presentation Sgt. Paul Ross outlined the OPP report for the township from January 2012 to May 31, 2012 and highlighted major incidents involving the OPP, which included numerous statistics regarding the types of crimes reported in that time period, including assaults, break and enters, thefts, and mischief. The report showed that the number of incidents in total increased steadily from January 2012 from 110 incidents to 156 in May 2012. Following the presentation council received the report for information.