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.