Local Environmental Protection Councillor Sutherland brought forward a motion to express South Frontenac’s “concerns that the current approval and regulatory process for development does not adequately protect our lakes and wetlands and does not take full account of the concerns of local communities.” This would be sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition. These concerns are based on the Township’s experience with the Johnson Point development in a wetland area on Loughborough Lake where, although South Frontenac sets the zoning conditions, actual site plan control falls between the Township, the Cataraqui Conservation Authority, and in some areas, the Ministry of Natural resources, often resulting in poor enforcement of ongoing environmental protection.
Mayor Vandewal said that the Official Plan Review and update will include public consultation, and would be the appropriate time to improve environmental protections.
Councillor Revill proposed an amendment to the motion referring the issue to the Development Services Committee, for their recommendation on how to strengthen the process of protecting local lakes and wetlands.
Sutherland said he felt it was important to deliver this message as soon as possible, given that the province is currently undertaking a fundamental review of all aspects of the development review process.
The motion passed with Revill’s amendment: Morey, Ruttan and Sutherland opposed.
Role of Conservation Authorities Unclear
A second motion was proposed by Deputy Mayor Sleeth, to write to the three Conservation Authorities in South Frontenac, seeking clarification of their mandate, and expressing concerns about the apparent expansion of their roles. Councillor Revill said he would like to bring the question to the next CRCA meeting, and if Council still felt the question was unresolved, a letter could be sent at that time. Sleeth agreed, and the motion was deferred.
Public Services Budget
Public Services Director Mark Segsworth and Area Supervisor David Holliday presented a general overview of the budget items they will be submitting to Council. They focussed on new projects and carry-overs from the past year. This is the township’s largest department, covering roads (building, maintenance, plowing and traffic), recreation programs and facilities (parks, beaches, playing fields, public halls, etc — who knew SF had 21 boat launch sites? ) and solid waste (collection and disposal of garbage, recycling and hazardous waste).
Saturday January 26 has been set aside for an all-day Council session to thresh out the details of the budget: what to keep, modify or remove.