By Kip Vankempen’s own admission, it’s just one man’s survey but the results did spark response from Mayor Ron Higgins at North Frontenac’s regular Council meeting last Friday at Barrie Hall in Cloyne. (The meeting was held in Cloyne because it immediately followed a joint Councils meeting with Addington Highlands on the joint fire agreement.)
Appearing as a delegation to Council, Vankempen said he used the internet application SurveyMonkey and received 83 responses.
Of the 83 respondents:
• 92 per cent opposing the new municipal building expenditure
• 96 per cent felt the federal gas tax could be put to better use than the building project
• 97 per cent believe the Cloyne firehall is important
• 97 per cent believe firefighting and rescue equipment should be maintained up to recommended standards
• 78 per cent believe the Cloyne playground equipment should be replaced
• 99 per cent believe internet voting should be available
• 99 per cent would like Council to keep them informed by email
• 97 per cent believe cottagers should receive the same relief as year-round residents for Hydro
• 93 per cent felt the delivery charge for Hydro should be changed.
While Higgins agreed with the respondents as to Hydro charges and pointed out the Township has sent letters to the Province asking for the repeal of the Green Energy Act, he wasn’t as agreeable when it came to the municipal building expenditures.
“It is going ahead as is,” Higgins said. “You can’t look at it in isolation because the building itself has no negative impact on taxes, which we’ve kept to the Consumer Price Index.”
Higgins said they view the municipal building expenses as “spending on an asset and improving service delivery” and that it has health, safety and accessibility issues.
He also said that they have approved a new communications policy.
Restoration Project on Hold
Improvements to the Palmerston Canonto Conservation Area by the Palmerston Beach Restoration Project Team are on hold following a resolution by Council.
Council did pass a bylaw authorizing the Mayor and Clerk to enter into a five-year lease agreement (for $1 per year) with the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA) on the property but execution of lease may also have to wait.
The problem is, actual ownership of the property seems to be in question.
In a report to Council, manager of community development Corey Klatt said “At the Feb. 16 meeting, we were advised by MVCA staff that there is currently an issue with the ownership of a portion of the property within the PCCA beach area.”
Klatt said an adjacent property owner believes he owns some of the property.
Coun. Gerry Martin, who has been working with the PBRP team wrote a letter advising them that “the renewal of the MVCA Lease Agreement will be on the April 7 Council Agenda.
“The title search has not yet been completed (by MVCA) and until ownership of the property is determined, Council cannot approve work on the lot. There is a possibility the property is actually owned by a third party.”
“This is turning out to be a disaster,” said Coun. John Inglis. “They’re not going to be able to do (work) this year.”
“We’re dealing with something that was done wrong 30 years ago,” said Martin.