Henderson Road resident unhappy with Council

Written by  Wednesday, 20 February 2019 12:33
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When replacing a culvert over the Henderson Road, Central Frontenac crews put in a larger, and longer pipe. It turned out that because of the extra length, the culvert now extends beyond the township right of way and onto Ken Arney’s property.

Exactly how far into Arney’s property the culvert extends, has not been determined yet. Given the situation, the township intends to purchase a small piece of Arney’s property. In order to determine how much of Arney’s land is involved, and make the purchase, a survey must be completed, and that can’t happen until the snow melts.

Arney came to Council this week (Tuesday, February 19) in order to express his frustration about how the process has been carried out thus far.

“I am not happy about the way I have been treated by township staff over this. I feel that I have not been well informed by staff. I wasn’t impressed with one of the councillor’s comments either. He said it was inconsiderate of me to ask him to spend two hours of his valuable time on this by visiting and having a look.”

Arney also said that he thought the township needed to survey his property in order to determine the limits of the piece they intend to purchase.

Mayor Frances Smith said that since Mr. Arney’s neighbour’s property has been surveyed, “the surveyor can work from those posts to survey the piece. We are not going to survey the entire property.”

When the possibility of expropriation was mentioned, Arney speculated that he might be better off going that route.

Mayor Smith said, “as far as I understand it, when we fixed the culvert we encroached on your property by mistake. We aren’t going to pull out the culvert so we need to buy the land. The best outcome is for us to do the survey and come to an agreement over the price. Expropriation is not something we want to do. We would rather agree on the boundaries and the price with you.”

Pic Hall repair – old walls hold secrets

Acting Development Services Manager Alan Revill spoke to the ongoing construction at the Piccadilly Hall. He reported that when the paneling was pulled off of one of the exterior walls in the hall to reveal some century old lathe and plaster, it also revealed a 5 inch gap between the wall and the floor and a similar gap below the ceiling. Given this, the contractor recommended stripping out the existing material and putting in a new wall on the existing wall supports. This will increase the cost of the project by over $7,000. The good news, Revill said, was that the project has been progressing smoothly, and will be “substantially complete by early March.”

Pic Hall repair (part 2) who owns the hall anyway – In 2016 the township became aware of the fact that the property the Piccadilly Hall is located, as well as about half of the adjacent cemetery, are not legally owned by the township. The piece of property, which was part of the old Clark farm, that was purchased by the Snider family, was donated to Hinchinbrooke Township but apparently the land transfer was never completed. The land is still registered to Clark, as it has been since 1857. Council did not act on the information in 2016, and Deputy Clerk Cindy Deachman prepared a new report this month in light of the construction that is now going on.

“Staff recommend Council approve commencing the required legal work to correct

title for both the hall property and the two cemetery properties. This will most

likely include survey work to obtain a legal description, and a court

application, at least for the two parcels owned by Mr. Clark,” she said in her report.

The estimated court costs will likely be over $5,000 and the survey will cost a similar amount. The township is planning to budget for the transfer this coming year.

Compliance with new Municipal Act – Council, along with all other municipalities in Ontario, are facing a March 1st deadline to enact policies to comply with provisions in the recently revised Municipal Act.

One of them is a Tree Canopy and Natural Vegetation Policy, which the Deputy Clerk recommended keeping at more of an educational level than imposing bylaw restrictions on property owners. An email from David Shostal of Randy Hillier’s office indicated that the government was backing down from the requirement.

In that context, Councillor Brent Cameron said Council should take no action. Councillor Victor Heese said it was still a good idea to have a tree policy in place. Councillor Bill MacDonald, a logger himself, said some restriction against clear-cutting might be a good way to go. The matter was referred back to staff. The council has another meeting before March first, and they may or may not pass a new tree policy.

Another policy that is required is a council pregnancy and parental leave policy, providing 20 weeks leave for council members.

Councillor Tom Dewey suggested that the proposed policy, including a provision to pay the deputy mayor the salary of the mayor if the mayor is off on a maternity or paternity leave.

Mayor Smith assured Council that she is not seeking such a leave at this or likely in the future, but that Dewey’s recommendation seemed sensible.

When asked, all of the council members indicated they are not planning on taking such a leave.

Finally, council considered a code of conduct and council staff relations policies, which will be coming back for a vote on February 26.

One more year of OMPF funding.

Provincial transfers to municipalities under the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF) will be unchanged in 2019. The Ford government intends to change the program in the coming months, with a view towards focussing on the more rural and cash strapped councils. In a letter to municipalities, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli said OMPF changes would be announced well in advance of 2020, before municipal councils start their budget process for next year

“Ministry staff are working to finalise data updates to ensure the OMPF continues to be

responsive to changing municipal circumstances as is the case under the current

program,” he wrote. He added that the province is facing a deficit and continues “to review government transfer payments.”

Budget meeting, March 22.

Because members of council will be away in early March, the next budget meeting will be Friday, March 22, at the fire hall on Wagner Road, 9am.

 

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