| Dec 01, 2005

Feature Article - December 1, 2005

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Feature Article

December 1, 2005

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Sir John A. MacDonald's funeral train will return to Sharbot Lake

by Jeff Green

Well, a picture of it anyway. Actually it will be a 10’ high by 28’ long mural, to be affixed to the Stedman’s store in the village. The mural will re-enact the day Sir John A. Macdonald’s funeral train passed through Sharbot Lake. Several cars were part of the funeral delegation, including the one that carried Macdonald’s remains. They were pulled to Sharbot Lake by a CP train, and in Sharbot Lake, they were released and attached to a train from the K&P Railroad for the trip down to Kingston. The mural will depict the passage of the Macdonald funeral cars through the Sharbot Lake Station.


The mural is a project of the Central Frontenac Council’s Economic Development Committee, but funding for the Project has come entirely through a fundraising drive. An application had been made to the Trillium Foundation to fund a series of murals throughout the township, but it was not accepted.

The Committee has raised $4,600 through various means, and has received commitments of $3,500 from local businesses towards the project. They have also been promised a $3,000 grant from the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, provided all the necessary funding to complete the first mural is in place by the end of 2005. The total amount raised is $11,100 and the project is budgeted at $12,700, leaving a $1,600 shortfall.

Councillor Janet Gutowski presented a report on the fundraising progress to Central Frontenac Council this week. She also mentioned that individuals living in the region that have deep roots might be interested in arranging for a picture of their relatives to be included in the mural. For $200, anyone who had a relative that could have been present on the day Sir John A. Macdonald’s funeral train passed through Sharbot Lake, can have a portrait of that relative painted into the mural.

In another fundraising initiative, reproductions of sketches of local train stations drawn by artist John Deschenes, are being sold at the township office and other locations, with all proceeds to the mural project.

After Janet Gutowski presented her update to Council, Mayor Bill MacDonald proposed that Council provide a loan to the mural project should the fundraising drive not reach its goal by the end of December.

“I would hate to see us lose the $3,000 grant over a timing problem like this,” MacDonald said.

This proposal led to some debate on Council. Councillors Murray, Smith, and Nicolson were not present, leaving only six councillors at the meeting. Three of the six, Councillors Guigue and Harvey and Deputy Mayor Putnam made it clear they did not want to see public money going towards this project.

“That’s what the bank is for, to lend money,” said Councillor Harvey.

Councillor Guigue asked “Are you sure this is a loan?”

Deputy Mayor Putnam said, “They can call it a loan if they want to but is it really a loan? They are a committee of Council so how can it be a loan?”

Township Chief Administrative Officer Heather Fox said that it is possible to set up a sort of internal loan through the township’s accounting system.

“When it comes to budget time next year, if the money has not been repaid, Council could take it out of what they would normally give to the Economic Development Committee, I suppose,” she said.

The motion passed, with five voting in favour and Councillor Harvey voting against it.

Other Council notes – Railroad Museum Survey

In keeping with a commitment made to the Central Frontenac Railroad Museum Committee, staff brought information about the cost of surveying the land the township owns on or near the proposed Museum site. The price is $1,000 and Council approved having the survey completed.

Tichborne rink – At their previous meeting, Council deferred decision on a tender they had received for building a change room at the Tichborne rink because the total was higher than the budget for the project. Councillor Gutowksi recommended refusing the tender in order to consider a cheaper proposal that has come to light. Council did so.

The new proposal calls for purchasing and moving a portable that is located near the Parham Post Office. The portable, which is owned by Gerald Howes, has been the subject of complaints by neighbours. Mr. Howes informed Councillor Gutowski that he no longer needs the portable and is willing to let it go for $3,500. With the cost of moving, altering and securely placing the portable in place for use as a change room, the cost of the proposal comes to $12,500, well within the budget for the project. Township staff have determined that the portable is sound, and are prepared to do the work necessary to have the new change room in place, probably by the end of the year.

Before Council voted on the proposal, Councillor Guigue said, “I know that no one will agree, but I have to say that I think it’s a bad idea to maintain small rinks in several villages. You see one or two kids on the rink in Tichborne when you drive by, if that, and the same in Mountain Grove. Why not put resources towards making a really good rink, say in Mountain Grove, which people will be motivated to drive to and spend the day?”

Councillor Guigue was correct; no one did agree, and in a 5-1 vote the Tichborne change room project was approved.

Drug safety request denied – Brian Rutherford, from Community Safety Net, is working with the Royal Canadian Legion and the OPP in presenting a Drug Safety Program in local schools, and requested that Central Frontenac make a donation to support the program. Citing a long standing policy not to support charitable enterprises with taxpayers’ money, Council rejected the request.

Building starts – Maintaining a year-long trend, the value of building permits in October was up significantly over values in 2004 and 2003. The number of permits issued in October, however, was down to 15 from 19 in 2004.

Year to date construction for 2005 is $7,157,000, which compares to $5,241,000 in ’04 and $4,115,000 in ’03. So far in 2005, 44 new residential units have been started, compared to 40 in the same period in ’04 and 25 in ’03.

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