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.
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.”
Central Frontenac’s first Council meeting of 2019 Tuesday evening at Oso Hall was pretty quiet as these things go.
The Township is considering changing how it allots computers and/or compensates Council members for computer equipment.
However, when estimates for new laptops were given at $1,500 per computer (times nine for the number of Council members or $13,500), the matter was tabled until budget time to allow staff to acquire more information (read find a cheaper solution).
“There are three people around this table (Coun. Bill MacDonald, Elwin Burke and Nicki Gowdy) who don’t have computers here,” said Smith. “I think deferring this today and looking for something cheaper is the way to go.”
Cannabis retailing a go
For the record, Central Frontenac officially voted to opt-in on cannabis retail outlets. Coun. Tom Dewey asked for a recorded vote which was unanimous.
Cindy Cassidy from the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance was at Council for an update on their activities and to ask Council for its regular contribution.
Coun. Bill MacDonald took the opportunity to ask Cassidy if she’d heard anything on the rumoured VIA Rail line that might come through the area and how it might affect the east-west trail given that much of it is the former rail line.
“They (VIA) met with us and told us that they haven’t had federal funding approved so it will take awhile if anything is done,” Cassidy said. “But they did tell us that if a new rail line is built, they’ll build a trail right along side of it.”
Coun. Brent Cameron asked acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong for his thoughts and perspectives on how taking back several winter maintenance routes inhouse has worked out.
“I’ve only gotten one call that was a complaint,” Armstrong said. “Cost-wise, it’s too early to tell but quality-wise, it’s as good or better.”
“I don’t think we’ll be able to get an answer for a couple more years because our contracts used to be for three years,” said Coun. Bill MacDonald.
Representing the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospitals, Gardner Church was at Council asking for a donation — to the tune of $63,073.
Meeting time change?
Notice of motion was given to have a change in the times of Council meetings moved to 6 p.m. from the current 4 p.m.
The underlying seriousness of this event necessitated the addition of a third judge this year. They were impressed with the overall effort and creativity which had definitely been ramped up from last year’s excellent productions! One thing the judges could not help noticing throughout was a lot more candy, though they were careful to avoid any nibbling, which could so easily have been misconstrued as accepting bribes.
They were firmly directed to rank the three entries:
FIRST: Building and Planning
Excellent first impressions for customer entryway, all decorations with building and planning themes: even the presents under the tree were wrapped in planning maps; bright-coloured carpentry tools were on the tree and in the stockings
Everything that could be decorated, was: Department Director charmingly fitted out with reindeer glasses and red nose….
SECOND: Admin. Offices
Most imaginative theme: “Santa’s workshop”, featuring (mostly) elves.
Some highlights: an accessible desk with step stool, for elves to work at; scheduling of elvish workdays, with Santa’s nap-times clearly delineated; an entire elvish village in what might have once been the Treasurer’s office. Paper snowflakes handcrafted from recycled invoices.
Who knew reindeer droppings looked so much like marshmallows?!?
THIRD: Public Works
Railing at entry decorated with lovely beribboned swags of pine
Staff festively dressed with seasonal jewelry
Best Christmas tree
(Special congratulations to the two staff members who represented all the roads, repairs and recycling folks in this event!)
All prizes involved edible treats.
Central Frontenac Council passed a bylaw allowing for the installation of a stop sign on Cross Road at Armstrong Road at its regular meeting Tuesday in Oso Hall.
Acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong said this is the final stage of a project begun in September to provide clear sight lines and safe access at the three-way intersection.
The road work has been completed.
“This project began two or three public works managers before me when they began acquiring land,” Armstrong said. “It’s basically to clean up the intersection.
He said costs for these works are accounted for in the 2018 maintenance budget.
Frontenac Heritage Festival
Council promised to look at an increase in funding for the Frontenac Heritage Festival when it meets for budget talks Jan. 30.
Mike Procter and Joan Hollywood told Council that their ranks have been “somewhat decimated” and as such, they haven’t the bodies to go to businesses asking for donations.
“We’re asking Council for $2,000, which is what they used to give us but somehow that was reduced to $1,000 last year,” Procter said. “Last year, we got $1,100 in donations but we’re estimating that will be down to $500 this year.
“Our budget is about $2,000 but anything we don’t use goes right back to the Township.”
Cemetery plot price increase
The price of plots at the township cemeteries are scheduled to increase in 2019 with the cost to residents rising to $531.01 from $524.95 and for non-residents to $655.27 from $646.18.
Coun. Bill MacDonald said he thought prices for non-residents were too low, noting that plots in Toronto can cost “thousands of dollars.”
Administrative Assistant Donna Longmire said “it’s probably time we revisited prices for non-residents.
Central Frontenac will have a new Chief Building Official some time in the new year.
Andy Dillon, who was formally with DNN Contracting, is now on staff and will assume the position as soon as he completes the courses he needs to qualify.
Alan Revill will remain as CBO until Dillon completes his courses.
Construction numbers on a high.
2018 will go down as a good year for construction in Central Frontenac with a construction value of $9,561,283 through November. That compares with $9,239,860 in 2017 and $7,540,759 in 2016.
“Anything in the pipe that would edge that over $10 million?” asked Coun. Bill MacDonald.
“It would take almost $500,000 so I’m thinking no,” said acting CBO Alan Revill.
Even though the quote for renovations to Piccadilly Hall came in about $1,900 over the budgeted amount of $34,000, Central Frontenac Council voted to go ahead with the project at its regular meeting Tuesday night at Oso Hall in Sharbot Lake.
And it also agreed to kick in an additional $1,600 to have the heaters rewired so they can be operated from a wall-mounted control at the recommendation of acting Chief Building Official Alan Revill.
Revill told Council that the lowest bid came from Wemp & Smith at $35,898 to strip out lathe & plaster, replace windows, replace deteriorated framing, reinsulate walls and apply new drywall and trim. The other bid, from Men in White Designed Interiors, was $46,095.40.
Revill said he has worked with Wemp & Smith many times in the past.
Revill said that, during the tender process, it was noted that an electrician would be required to disconnect the electric baseboard heaters prior to removing the wall surfaces and as such, he recommended that this would be a good opportunity to improve the heating system as well.
“Those heaters are currently controlled by individual unit thermostats located on the baseboard at the floor level,” Revill said. “So there is often uneven heating and there are risks that a unit may be accidentally left on.
“The CBO is recommending to have an electrician from our vendor of record list rewire the heating units to be controlled by wall-mounted thermostats (which will be) much easier to control heating of the building and more convenient for users.”
Used truck on order
Council approved purchasing a used single-axle 5-ton plow truck along with two additional sanding units and other miscellaneous items to take on the 40 additional kilometers of roads the Public Works department will be responsible for clearing this winter after the Township decided not to tender out two areas.
Works garage renovation ‘fell through the3 cracks”
In 2018, $80,000 was budgeted to renovate two public works garages but the work was not begun this year.
Dep. Mayor Tom Dewey said he’d support the move but was disappointed and surprised that the renovations “fell through the cracks.
“I feel it’s important for employee moral to have a decent lunchroom and kitchen,” he said.
“That will be in the budget for next year,” said Mayor Frances Smith.
Council approved declaring a tanker from the Arden station surplus and being sold. Dep. Fire Chief Jamie Riddell said Arden still has one large tanker and a smaller one which should be sufficient.
“The big thing is cost,” said Mayor Frances Smith. “It’s reached the point do I fix it or not.”
New shed for Mountain Grove rink
Council approved $6,000 for the purchase of an 8’ X 14’ storage shed (with insulation, lights and heat) for the District 2 (Olden) rink in Mountain Grove.
The District 2 rec committee had been using the old fire building to store equipment but the fire department has said it also needs the building for storage.
Dep. Mayor Tom Dewey said he’d received an email from the treasurer saying that the money would likely come out of the year-end budget surplus.
“It’s always been understood that it would be part of the rec committee’s budget but at any rate, they won’t be asked to fundraise for it,” said Mayor Frances Smith.
Road 38 to close for parade
Council approved closing Road 38 from Elizabeth Street north to Elizabeth Street South Dec. 1 for its annual Santa Claus Parade.
Fire Chief Greg Robinson expressed some concern over liability in the case of an emergency with respect to response time.
“I’ve been doing these parades for 30 years and there’s never been an emergency,” said Mayor Frances Smith. “Although I’m not saying it couldn’t happen.”
Coun. Bill MacDonald expressed similar sentiments.
Smith said the annual Tichborne to Parham Santa Claus Parade will be replaced this year by a children’s party at the fire hall, likely Dec. 2.
Road 38 will be closed through Sharbot Lake from about 1 p.m. to 1:20 p.m.
Construction value to flirt with $10 million mark
With construction value for the year to date at $9,020,226, acting CBO Alan Revill described as a “robust” year in building activity. This compares with $7,991,860 through
the first ten months of 2017 and $7,386,759 through the first ten months of 2016.
“This includes single family units and things like garages and decks,” Revill said.
Permit fees are also up to $126,857, bringing the building department closer to breaking even.
“This shows good growth over three years and is a positive thing for the community,” said Dep. Mayor Tom Dewey.
Present and future Mayor Ron Vandewal made presentations to the three departing Council members at this last meeting of the current Council: Brad Barbeau, Marc Schjerning and John McDougall. Barbeau had come on board for the final year and a half, replacing the late Bill Robinson; Schjerning has served a full term, and McDougall is retiring after two terms on Council. All three had contributed to a wide range of Township committees and community groups. Reflecting on his past eight years, McDougall said, “When I started, I thought I had all the answers, but I quickly came to appreciate just how complicated (local government) really is, involving not only the Township, but the County, Eastern Ontario and the Province.” He spoke warmly of the leadership of both the Mayors, Gary Davison and Ron Vandewal, with whom he had worked. “I had not originally understood that Council has only one employee it can direct, and that is the CAO.” In reference to his longstanding goal of developing more affordable housing in South Frontenac for seniors, McDougall warned, “Seniors’ housing is not dead; I’ll be watching you!”
Claire Dodds, the recently-appointed Director of Development Services brought forward five proposed zoning by-law amendments for comments at a public meeting. Four dealt with waterfront properties, either lot additions or lot creations on Sydenham, Bob’s and Green Lakes. The fifth related to a zoning change to permit a craft brewery on a property near Petworth. There were no comments from the public on any of these, which will come to the Dec 4th Council meeting as by-laws for approval.
Public Works Road Budget
Taxpayers have expressed dismay over the budget overruns on several road projects: the Harrowsmith Intersection, Bedford Road and Rutledge/Harrowsmith repaving. ($100,000 of the overages was created by an unanticipated increase MTO Asphalt Indexing.) In his roads department revised budget report, Public Works Director Segsworth showed that the year’s total roads construction costs had been brought into line with the amount originally budgeted for 2018: some projects, notably Petworth Culvert, Amy Road, Desert Lake Causeway and Sydenham Dam have been postponed, and an Ont. Municipal Commuter Cycling Grant of $80,882 helped offset costs of the Harrowsmith/Rutledge Road project.
Ontario East Regional Agility Competition
Council agreed to both noise and camping exemptions for a group wishing to use Harrowsmith’s Centennial Park for their annual competitions on the weekend of May 30-June 2. McDougall said that they have used the park for the past two years, and have been model guests. (One may assume that the individuals whose agility is being tested at this event are probably dogs, though this was never specified…)
Steady as she goes in building report
As of the end of September, the township was at almost exactly the same pace as it was last year in terms of total construction value and the number of permits issued. For the first 9 months of of 2018, 239 permits for $26.22 million in construction value have been issued. At the same point in 2017, 235 permits for $26.31 in construction value had been issued. This puts the township in line for its second consecutive year with over $30 million in construction value. The pace of new home building is a bit down however. With 52 permits for single family dwellings, the township needs a slight 4th quarter uptick to reach the total of 70 that was accomplished in both 2017 and 2016.
Central Frontenac Council approved a recommendation by Manager of Emergency Services/Fire Chief Greg Robinson to amend the Fire Bylaw as recommended in the Fire & Rescue Phase Two Operational and Organizational Review at its regular meeting evening in Sharbot Lake.
Specifically, Robinson asked Council to have a fire station location study done; develop a master plan for Council’s approval; include gaps/risks identified in the phase two operational and organizational review that have not been mitigated to be addressed in that master plan; fully support the implementation of changes resulting from the operational and organizational review; and keep Council informed on the implementation of changes resulting from the phase two operational and organizational review.
Robinson said that there was $25,000 in the budget to be used for the station location study and master plan.
Coun. John Purdon said that the master plan should also have prevention and protection in addition to the word fire in the title.
But Purdon also questioned the need for a fire station location study.
“We have three fairly new stations and I can’t see wanting to relocate those,” Purdon said. “How big a study do we need for our four stations and two substations?”
“We did our own study and there was a possibility to combine Arden and Mountain Grove,” Robinson said. “But we don’t have the data we need.”
Coun. Brent Cameron went even further, questioning the scope of the phase two operational and organizational review, a rather large document presented to Council at the May 22 regular Council meeting that contained 142 “gaps” the fire chief said needed addressing.
“I’m not trying to be difficult,” Cameron said. “But the province has rescinded some of the requirements, gaps, that study identified.
“I feel like we’ve been given a large number of recommendations (142) and been told to take it or leave it.
“I’m not comfortable with this and would like to see a less ambitious document — one that gives the retention of personnel higher priority.”
Robinson responded that the master plan isn’t yet completed and “only five recommendations are being asked for tonight.”
While that might be technically true, one of the recommendations is that Council give its full support to the “implementation of required changes resulting from the phase two operational and organizational review.”
Another recommendation is those changes be included in the fire master plan.
Dep. Mayor Tom Dewey suggested they wait to pass the resolution until the new Council but Mayor Frances Smith said she was fine with the resolution as is.
“There are seven of us who have been through it,” she said.
Winter Maintenance contracts
Council approved acting Public Works Manager Dave Armstrong’s recommendation that they accept contractors’ bids for winter road maintenance in Area 1 and Area 2 and do the snow removal, sanding/salting in house for Area 3 and Area 4.
Armstrong said in his report that based on historical invoices for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 winter seasons, the Township would be spending about $287,500 annually for Areas 1 and 2 to be serviced leaving a surplus of about $137,500 from the budgeted amount for equipment rental, additional equipment maintenance and repair, and future considerations for equipment purchasing and/or rental.
Essentially, the Township will be paying $2,723.22 for each snow/sleet/freezing rain event in Area 1 and $1,751.59 in Area 2. He said he hasn’t had enough experience yet to estimate what it will cost the Township to do Areas 3 and 4 itself.
Henderson Road Culvert
Council awarded the Henderson Road Culvert tender to Crains’ Construction Ltd. for $191,110 not including HST. The budget for the job was $200,000.
Acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong said he’d work with the contractor to get the work done as soon as possible and minimize traffic disruption. He estimated there would be “about four days” of traffic disruption as it is a rather large culvert.
Tuesday noon, Township Council and staff held a special COW meeting at the Perth Road Firehall with MPP Randy Hillier to discuss two Township roads and their upkeep.
To no ones surprise, the township is seeking provincial money to help improve the roads. While Hillier listened to the requests, he didn’t quite open up the provincial chequebook
One of the roads is the 401 emergency detour route (EDR) which runs along township Road 15 (Moreland Dixon and Sunbury Roads), and the other is Road 38.
Mark Segsworth, Director of Public Works, said that as part of next year’s reconstruction of Sunbury, they want to rebuild Sunbury Road to withstand EDR loading, and “do it so it will last”. The current plan is to budget $1 million for each of 2019 and 2020, and ask the province for a further $990,000 which would allow more strengthening to be done on the road. Hillier agreed,
“The province can’t have 401 without EDR routes” and asked what the Provincial response has been to previous requests for help with Sunbury Road. Segsworth replied: “They say they don’t subsidize EDRs anywhere else in the province.” He added that the Township’s previous applications for road grants had appeared to have been denied “to some extent because we’re in a stable financial position.”
Hillier said that while the province had claimed that “those who manage their assets in a responsible manner will be recognized,” one problem of the current lottery-style funding is that it can favour less responsible areas.
“Government and infrastructure (funding) should not be random.” He agreed to talk to Catherine Moore of MTO about the need for the province to recognize that some portion of EDR upkeep should be a provincial responsibility. “We need a dedicated fund we can depend on, not just one-off programs,” said Vandewal.
Councillor Barbeau asked “Why did we get stuck with Road 38 at the time of amalgamation?” It seems that it’s a unique situation: at the time of amalgamation, Frontenac County became Frontenac Management Board for several years, and as such, was not eligible to own a highway.
So, 38 was handed over to South and Central Frontenac as a township road, with Kingston agreeing to provide upkeep funding assistance for ten years. (Later extended for a further five). This was based on the fact that Kingston depends on 38 as a direct connection route up to highway #7.
“38 should not be seen as a Township road,” agreed Hillier.
CAO Orr interjected that the Township CAOs are trying to find a way to get the amalgamation agreement amended so that at least a token percentage of 38’s ownership could be transferred to the County. Apparently the Province is likely to look more favourably on grant applications from a County, as opposed to those from a Township.
Hillier said he could at least try to help get 38 moved into becoming a County Road, with a service agreement with the Townships.
“South Frontenac already provides services on 38 such as traffic counts and organizing joint tendering,” said Segsworth, “We scratch their backs, but our back usually stays itchy.”
The general impression was that the meeting had been worthwhile, and that Hillier seemed to have a clearer understanding of South Frontenac’s dilemmas with these two situations. He also seemed prepared to try to help find solutions which might ease the apparently inequitable expectations the Province has in regard to our maintenance of these roads.
In North Frontenac, there are a few (public) buildings that don’t meet code, Brian MacDonald of McIntosh Perry, told Council at its regular meeting last week in Plevna.
CAO Cheryl Robson said McIntosh Perry was contracted to do the Township’s first ever facilities assessment after a successful grant application for just this purpose.
“I’ve been around eight years and this is the first time I’ve seen anything like this,” said Coun. Gerry Martin.
MacDonald said they looked at 20 municipal facilities with an estimated total replacement value of about $10,000,000, including four fire halls and six public works facilities.
While the ‘portfolio’ is currently in generally good condition, if no work were to be done on them in the next 10 years, the portfolio would be in generally “poor” condition, he said.
“Approximately $2,171,000 would be required to maintain the facilities in a ‘state of good repair,’” he said.
Of the 20 facilities, short term repairs and replacements of about $350,000 would be required on five of them.
The Harlowe Community Hall needs $70,000 to repair basement leakage.
The Snow Road Fire Hall needs $32,000 for staff washrooms.
The Ompah Fish Hatchery needs $30,000 for general repairs.
The Ward 1 Public Works Garage needs $40,000 cladding and water supply.
The Cloyne Washroom and Change House needs $35,000 for roofing and mechanical work.
Just about all of the facilities need some work, mostly related to accessibility.
Council praised and accepted the report, but any decisions were relegated to 2019 budget deliberations.
However, there were indications that some of the facilities might not survive the budgetary process.
“The opportunity for the Fish Hatchery to come back into useful operation is nil to none,” said Dep. Mayor Fred Perry, who was chairing the meeting in the absence of Mayor Ron Higgins.
The Cloyne washroom isn’t likely to get much love either.
Even though one audience member pointed out that the ball diamond there is used for seniors slow-pitch, manager of community development Corey Klatt said: “This is my 11th year and it was out of service when I came.”
Councillors to be compensated for loss of tax exempt income
Council accepted Treasurer Kelly Watkins’ report on the impact of losing the 1/3 tax-free status for municipal councilors remuneration but put off any decisions until the first meeting of the new Council on Dec. 5.
Options range from doing nothing to a new pay structure for meeting attendance, mileage and per diem to outright compensation for the tax-free loss, which Watkins estimated would cost the Township about $17,000.
Coun. Vern Hermer was in favour of some sort of compensation.
“I don’t think it’s fair that we should take a hit because the federal of provincial governments want a bit more in their coffers,” Hermer said.
However, Coun. John Inglis seemed OK with the potential loss in salary.
“We’re above the median (in pay) and we’re above Central Frontenac,” Inglis said. “I feel we’re well compensated.
“Leave the status quo; for our population, we have a very large staff.”
“We won’t attract many young Council members with this pay,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “Whether John (Inglis) thinks he’s overpaid — which he probably is.”
Watkins’ said “across the province, the majority of municipalities are compensating councilors for the 1/3 loss.”
While the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority is open to sell the Palmerston Beach property to North Frontenac Township (MVCA passed a resolution Aug. 3 granting an “option to purchase for a nominal sum”), just what the Township plans to do regarding the property is undecided.
“We did sell property on Malcolm Lake years back that went to a developer,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “That’s the reason for the buy-back clause.”
“I don’t agree that $128,000 should be spent to create a park that would only be used by a few people,” said Coun. Wayne Good.
Good burlap after bad?
Coun. Gerry Martin reported that $1,500 worth of burlap has been put down in Ardoch Lake in an effort to combat Eurasian Milfoil.
However, Martin was less than enthusiastic about the chances for success in the project.
“We have it in so many of our lakes, I think it’s a lost cause,” he said.
While applauding the North Addington Education Centre’s interest in municipal government, North Frontenac Council won’t be showing up to an assembly in any kind of numbers, on the advice of Clerk Tara Mieske.
“I would recommend only three or fewer go so that no business of Council will be advanced,” she said.
Coun. John Inglis volunteered to attend.