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Central Frontenac Council – Aug 14/12by Jeff Green and Julie Druker
Aside from approving a Community Improvement Plan for Sharbot Lake, the only Central Frontenac Council meeting in August was mostly taken up with updates from staff members and correspondence, as council prepares for a busier fall season and an early crack at their 2013 budget.
Fire department busy – Fire Chief Bill Young and Deputy Chief Art Cowdy brought their quarterly report to Council. The department has been busy, dealing with 36 fire calls and 41 medical assists between May 1 and July 31.
Bill Young talked also about how busy the department has been during the recent drought and burn ban, which came off on Monday after a week of wet weather.
Council members expressed a concern that the fine for illegal burning, $50, is too low.
“We will be looking at all the fees the township charges in the fall,” said CAO Shawn Trépanier. “Some of them are very low. For instance a fire permit costs $2 here when other municipalities charge $10 or $25.”
Public Works Manager Mike Richardson reported that surface treatment has been completed on 3 km of the Arden Road, and that Crains' Construction has completed work at the Arden dam site, where all that is still needed is a handrail. The culvert replacement on Crow Lake Road is underway, and will take about two weeks to complete.
Brushing the sides of roads has been helped along this year because the township has made use of student labour for flagging traffic down. Four students were hired and Richardson recommends this practise be continued in future years.
Thirteen culverts have also been replaced on a number of township roads.
Blasting has also been done at the site of the future Olden ball park behind Land O’Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove, and Mike Richardson said the ball field itself should be useable by next season, with the rest of the project slated for completion over the next two or three years.
Kyle Labbett, Waste Management Supervisor, was not present at the meeting, but Mike Richardson reported in his stead that the flow of recycled goods to the sites has increased substantially since new rules came into effect on April 1.
“The work load has increased for the one staff member who is managing each site at a given time, and we will be working to find ways to improve the efficiency and maintain the service level so that our recycling efforts are not wasted because we are not able to keep up with the new work demands” Richardson said, adding that increased staffing at the waste sites will have to be looked at in the 2013 budget.
Lower tier works managers meeting –
A meeting of the four township public works managers in Frontenac County was held on June 6, and Mike Richardson included the minutes to the meeting in his report.
In addition to discussing the possibility of joint tenders for line painting, salt and equipment purchases, the four managers also talked about the possibility of a joint contract with AECOM for monitoring and sampling all four township’s waste sites.
Much of the discussion centred around downloaded roads, and the minutes indicated general agreement that Roads 95 and 96 on Wolfe Island, Road 38 in South and Central Frontenac, Road 509 in Central and North Frontenac, and Road 506 in North Frontenac, be the focus of any joint efforts that are undertaken. The minutes also contain a proposal that may find some traction in township and county council debates for the 2013 budget year.
“It was suggested that each municipality put their portion of the County Federal Gas Tax into a reserve that would be for corridor maintenance only. The managers also discussed recommending to their respective councils that the county put in 50% of their Federal Gas Tax into the reserve for the corridor maintenance as well. It was decided that the four managers would put together a proposal to submit to the CAO of each municipality,” Richardson said.
The group will meet again on September 13 in North Frontenac, and intends to meet quarterly to discuss common issues.
Mayor Gutowski said she is pleased that Richardson included the minutes with his presentation, and is heartened by the works managers' initiative in taking a regional approach to common problems.
Property standards bylaw rejected: CAO Trépanier reported that four public meetings have now been held about the proposal for a property standards bylaw in the township, and 80% of the people attending the meetings said that the township should either adopt a property standards bylaw or strengthen its existing safe properties bylaw. A number of councilors said they thought a property standards bylaw was something people do not want but a beefed up safe properties bylaw is required. The matter will be back before council in the fall, after the township's lawyer has a chance to comment on possible changes.
Sharbot Lake CIP approved
Following a presentation by CAO Shawn Trépanier outlining the final draft for the Sharbot Lake Community Improvement Plan (CIP) and the sparsely attended public meeting that followed it, council passed a by-law approving the plan, which will make available a total of $80,000 ($70,000 from Frontenac County and $10,000 from Central Frontenac) to owners of local residences and businesses looking to make various improvements.
The overall aim of a CIP is to stimulate economic development in the area.
Prior to the passing of the by-law, members of council broadened the initial designated area of the CIP to include the Sharbot Lake Marina and the businesses located just south of Clement Road. After much discussion about whether to limit available funds to businesses only, council decided to include both businesses and residences within the targeted CIP area. Some of the changes made to the draft plan following a previous public meeting included incorporating Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing feedback, increasing funding for business projects while decreasing funding for residential projects, and increasing the maximum grant allowed from $2,500 to $3,000.
Due to input from the last public meeting, a Highway 7 landscaping program was removed altogether. With the by-law now in place to implement the plan, the township could see the public application process begin as soon as mid-September.
Interested applicants can visit the township's website www.centralfrontenac.com for more information about the plan. Details about the application process should soon be made available on the website.
Elbow Lake Stewardship Plan presented to council
Geraldine Graham and Jen Olson, co-chairs of the Elbow Lake Stewardship Plan, made a presentation to council.
The co-chairs highlighted the five main objectives for the plan: 1) to maintain and improve water quality, 2) maintain and improve wildlife and fish habitat, 3) preserve the peace and tranquility of the lake, 4) emphasize safety and respect on the lake, and 5) to strengthen the sense of community around the lake.
Detailed recommendations to achieve each of the five objectives were put forward in the plan, and following the presentations the co-chairs were congratulated by members of council for the professionalism, depth and completeness of the document, which it was agreed would go a long way in preserving the natural beauty of the area.