Group seeks to bring refugees to Addington Highlands
Andy Anderson appeared before Addington Highlands Council on Monday to support a request by an Ad Hoc group who have already met with MP Mike Bossio to talk about Addington Highlands hosting up to seven refugee families. The request to Council, which came from group member Carolyn McCullough, is for the use of the former Northbrook fire hall as a storage depot for donated items, such as large pieces of furniture (beds, couches, tables, etc.) over the next few months.
Councilor Bill Cox said, “I don't think that building is suitable for storage. The roof leaks and it floods in the spring and summer. That's why we built a new fire hall, and that's why we have been talking about tearing it down.”
Andy Anderson replied that if the ground were lowered at the front door of the hall, which the refugee support group is planning to do, the flooding would not take place.
“I don't think that's the only source of the flooding,” said Cox.
“We don't need the building for that long. We'll have it emptied by the spring,” said Anderson.
Councilor Tony Fritsch said, “What if we set an end date, such as May 1, when the building needs to be clear?”
A motion to that effect was proposed and passed by a vote of 4-1. Bill Cox cast the dissenting vote.
The refugee support group is meeting in Cloyne this week, and will be appealing for support from the public in short order.
Insurance costs up
Addington Highlands’ new fire hall may help lower insurance rates for some residents but the township is looking at an increase. Clerk/Treasurer Christine Reed said that the 11% increase (from $64,000 in 2015 to $72,000 in 2016) follows several years of decreases and has come about because of increases in the value of township assets. These include new vehicles in the roads department and the new fire hall. The township is insured by Jardine Lloyd Thompson.
The township received notice of a granting program, Ontario Sports and Recreation Community Funding, which has a deadline of January 16, 2016.
Councilor Fritsch said he will convene a meeting of seniors and community groups in the township within a week to gauge support for an application.
“If the groups have something in mind, we can get an application in; otherwise we will have to pass. It's short notice, as usual, from the province,” he said.
Rural Mayors’ Forum of Eastern Ontario
Reeve Henry Hogg reported that after meeting monthly for three months, the Rural Mayors’ Forum of Eastern Ontario is taking shape as a group of politicians from smaller municipalities faced with a set of similar concerns, such as increased policing costs and continuing challenges with internet and cell phone service in more remote areas.
One suggestion of the group is for member municipalities to include policing costs as a separate line on tax bills so residents understand where tax increases in 2016 and beyond are coming from.
When asked if all the members of the group are facing increased policing costs, Hogg said that only one, Arnprior, will see a decrease in 2016.
“Arnprior has left the group, because they do not face the same set of problems as the others,” he said.
The group will be meeting next in the Village of Lanark in January.
The township office will close on Thursday, December 24 at 12 noon and will not re-open until Monday, January 4 at 8:30 am. The extra days beyond the statutory holidays will be paid holidays, courtesy of the township.
January meeting date
Council normally meets on the first and third Monday of each month. In the case of January, 2016, that would mean meeting in Flinton at 1 pm on January 4. With a meeting already set for December 21 in Denbigh, and the extended Christmas holiday to follow, Council has decided to meet on January 11 at 1pm in Flinton.
“If we do this again next year, that first meeting of the year should take place in Denbigh,” said Reeve Hogg.