North Frontenac Council received Frontenac County’s report on planning costs for the Township for information and approved in principle the costing formula.
Frontenac County Director of Planning and Economic Development Joe Gallivan and County CAO Kelly Pender were at North Frontenac’s regular Council meeting Friday in Plevna to discuss the County Plan.
Gallivan told Council that the current planning staff (himself and community planner Megan Rueckwald) could no longer continue providing planning services without the addition of a third planner.
“Our workload is going above two planners,” Gallivan said.
The cost of the third planner would primarily be borne by Central Frontenac, North Frontenac and Frontenac Islands. The cost for North Frontenac would be $11,070 in 2018 and rise every year to become $49,456 in 2023. The agreement would be similar to the costing formula for the IT shared services agreement.
“A few years ago, four or five, you (Gallivan) assured us you had the time to do this,” said Coun. John Inglis.
“The number of applications has gone up,” said Gallivan.
“Is it really a requirement for Megan to be up here every Monday?” said Coun. Wayne Good.
“No, but 70-85 per cent of the time she’s up here,” said Gallivan.
“And she’s at every Committee of Adjustment meeting,” Good said.
“Cheryl (CAO Robson) and I asked the committee about that and they said there’s value in having her there and it reduces our liability,” said Mayor Ron Higgins.
“That sure takes the onus off them,” said Coun. Gerry Martin. “I agree with Wayne.”
Higgins then asked to suspend Council’s procedural rules to allow Barb Sproule, chair of the Committee of Adjustment, to speak.
“It’s kind of a dilemma to be in but every time we make a decision, we have to be able to back it up if it goes to the Ontario Municipal Board,” Sproule said. “The planner puts our ideas into words.”
“Does that mean in the past it wasn’t done as rigorously as it could have been?” said Inglis.
“We didn’t have as many severances in the past and there are more rules now,” said Sproule.
The County CAOs committee is scheduled to meet on planning and take back recommendations to their respective councils.
One small town
Mayor Ron Higgins agreed to “write a clarification” in regards to using the word “we” in a CBC interview with respect to the One Small Town project in North Frontenac.
Higgins did a mea culpa after Coun. Gerry Martin said in no uncertain terms that it sounded like the Township was directly involved and had made a financial commitment. Martin said he’d received considerable flak from his constituents.
“The interview made it sound like it’s North Frontenac’s project and we made a $10,000 commitment,” Martin said. “A beekeeper called me asking if we were going to flood the market with cheap labour.
“If could have choked me in person, I’m sure he would have.”
“I agree,” said Higgins. “I listened back to the interview and I did say ‘we’ so I’ll write a clarification for the paper.
“We’re only involved with the One Small Town part of it.”
“You’re into a dangerous process,” said Coun. John Inglis. “You’re going to get more requests.
“A couple of Economic Development Task Force members talked resigning because of the Whig-Standard story because they felt the task force had been bypassed.”
“This is brand new and mistakes have been made,” Higgins said. “But there are positive aspects to the interviews too.
“I’ve had seven investors contact me and one is a U.S. billionaire.
“And it looks like we could rehabilitate dams on the Mississippi to generate electricity.”
“I’m looking forward to hearing back from those investors you mentioned — if they’re real,” said Inglis.