Central Frontenac Council approved work on the Elm Tree Bridge as part of its 2017 budget at its regular meeting Tuesday night in Sharbot Lake.
Outgoing (interim) Public Works Manager Mike Richardson made the recommendation to Council, saying that “the Elm Tree Bridge replacement is recommended in the OSIM’s (Ontario Structure Inspection Manual) report for replacement by 2018.
“By completing this project, the municipality will be on track to being up to date with our OSIM report recommendations.”
The engineer’s estimated cost for the project is about $472,000.
Treasurer Mike McGovern told Council that given the $414,000 budget deficit oversight and the $62,000 OCIF grant municipal contribution, the project would have “no impact” on the municipal levy for 2017.
However, using that “found money” for the bridge didn’t sit well with every councillor.
“It bugs me that we’re going to spend all of it and not use it to reduce the levy,” said Coun. Phillip Smith.
“I’d like to see the money put in reserves and applied to reducing the levy,” said Coun. Tom Dewey.
“We’ve got a lot of hard-top roads that need attention like Crow Lake and Arden Road,” said Mayor Frances Smith.
However, Richardson and McGovern both argued that getting this particular bridge off the to-do list would produce long-term benefits for the Township.
“We have 34 bridges and over the past six years, public works has concentrated on bringing the municipality up to where it should be with respect to bridge maintenance and replacement, equipment replacement and maintenance,” Richardson said. “Once this bridge is completed, the municipality can concentrate on road improvements, like Fifth Lake Road.
“Roads that are commuter roads, and connecting link roads that transport commerce from one community to another should be looked upon more favourably for grant eligibility.”
Another reason to do the bridge now, Richardson said is that because the bridge was cited in the OSIM report, if something were to happen on it, the municipality could be held liable for any damages incurred.
In order to accommodate the project, the Armstrong-Cross Road intersection project will be put on hold.
But it’s not as if none of the roads are going to get attention this year. Richardson said another 1.4 kilometres of Arden Road will get resurfacing and “Bell Line has a need for extra attention. We’ve lived with it for a number of years now.
“We’ll go round and round fixing potholes until it gets dry and people start complaining about dust.”
Richardson also reported that the Township needed an additional $50,000 worth of sand to get through this winter.
Waste Disposal bylaw
Council passed revisions to its Waste Disposal Bylaw which reflect changes to the wording updating the Township’s Certificate of Approval to Environmental Compliance Approval, as well as changes to hours of operation, fees, garbage bag requirements and recycling policy that have been made in the past five years.
Mandatory Septic Reinspection revisited?
Coun. Jamie Riddell served notice of motion to reopen discussion on septic tank inspections. The motion carried.