The good news is that the Central Frontenac capital budget for last year came in $270,000 less than what was budgeted for.
The bad news is that the Township still owes $2,162,569 for various loans.
These loans include $301,246 still remaining on the medical centre, $25,502 on solar installations, $396,034 on the 5th Lake Road project, $722,287 for fire equipment and $717,500 for public works equipment.
These revelations were presented by Central Frontenac Treasurer Michael McGovern at a special capital budget Council meeting last Thursday at the Fire Hall in Sharbot Lake.
If the budget were passed as presented, it would represent $3,071,808. Last year, it was $1,932,114.
“The capital budget is up $1.1 million over last year,” McGovern said.
That doesn’t include the operating budget, which the Township still has meet on.
However, McGovern said that according to Ministry standards, the Township is at 34 per cent of its loan ceiling.
“We’re trying to do everything,” he said. “(But) the Ministry would like us to keep it under 55 per cent (so, in theory) we could take out another $2 million in loans.”
In a perfect world, the fire department would like about $400,000 for a new tanker and Chief Greg Robinson said they’re “looking for a new $2 million station.”
Robinson declined to say where the new station would be located but the Township has built new stations in Sharbot Lake, Mountain Grove and Parham since amalgamation.
When it was acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong’s turn to present a wish list, a request for $120,000 for ½ ton trucks didn’t raise an eyebrow.
But when it came to discussion of Crow Lake Road and Henderson Road, everybody weighed in.
“Crow Lake Road is a road that’s totally in disrepair,” Armstrong said. “I’d like to look at repairs from Road 38 to the settlement area whether we get a (~ 50 per cent) grant or not.
“It’s a bit of a portal into our Township.”
Armstrong estimated it would take around $2.5 million “to get from 38 to just past the settlement.”
“I would say it’s the worst road in our Township,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald.
“I’ve seen them patch that thing and I think that’s a tremendous waste,” said Coun. Elwin Burke.
Armstrong also mentioned Westport Road and “two others,” one of which was Henderson Road.
“I’d also like to spend more money on ditching and rock removal,” Armstrong said. “The sidewalks in Sharbot Lake are a liability but that’s next year.”
There’s also the closing of Oso Waste Facility in 2023 to consider.
Clerk-Administrator Cathy MacMunn also brought up the notion of a new Township office including a Council Chambers to the tune of $900,000.
She cited noise and security as big concerns at the current office.
“We might not want to build a new office just yet,” said Dep. Mayor Victor Heese. “I’m not sure the current provincial government is done with municipal restructuring.”