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Feature Article - November 24, 2005

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November 24, 2005

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Denbigh computer thefts pinpoint library's vulnerabilities: Addington Highlands Council, November 21, 2005

by Jule Koch Brison

A delegation from the Addington Highlands Library Board attended the meeting to ask council to replace two computers that were stolen from the Denbigh Library on October 17, the same night as the last council meeting in the building.

Speaking for the group, CEO June Phillips said that the theft highlighted the libraries’ vulnerability. “Council did not adequately insure the libraries. It is the township’s responsibility to replace the computers,” she said.

The computers were worth approximately $3000 but the township has a $2500 deductible on its insurance.


Reeve Hook acknowledged that the Library Board has worked hard and garnered a lot of money to improve the libraries, but said it would be very expensive to not have a $2500 deductible clause. He said the township had also felt that as the computers were not bought with township money, “why insure them?” The computers had been bought with a grant from Industry Canada to set up a CAP (Community Access Portal) site at the library. Reeve Hook said he supports budgeting to replace the computers and that council is working to make sure the library is “a totally secure area”.

June Phillips asked if there was money in the township budget to cover the $2500 deductible. “If we had a theft, even in this instance, if the money were in the budget, we would only have to fundraise for $500,” she said. “... The Library Board has no responsibility for securing this part of the building. It is through your neglect that we lost the computers. Council left that door open.”

Councillor Bill Cox bristled at the suggestion that the theft was council’s fault and asked about the police report. Reeve Hook then read the report out, but it did not specify whether there had been a break in. Deputy Reeve Lorraine Berger quietly confirmed that there had been no forced entry to the library door.

Councillor Cox said that a new oil furnace will be put in the building on December 1 and Fire Chief Casey Cuddy will do the fire work to make the whole building secure. Cuddy will submit a report in January.

June Phillips said that the Board will be putting bars on the libraries’ windows, and she also discussed an alarm system with council.

Councillor Louise Scott said that since “Robbers wait until you’ve replaced the goods and strike again in three months”, the township would not replace the computers until the library is secure.

Meanwhile, Jim MacPherson of the Frontenac E-Waste Recycling Centre heard of the theft and has offered to donate two computers to the library. June Phillips acknowledged the kind offer, but said that as they would have to spend about $300 on each computer for software and network cards, they would wait.

Council passed a motion to replace the computers after the building is secure. In the meantime, anyone with any information on the theft is asked to call OPP Constable Verbruggen at 336-2244. See the township’s ad on page 2 for more information.

RESOLUTIONS: Council voted to support various resolutions from other municipalities, including:

- one from the City of Niagara Falls asking the federal government to intervene in the wholesale gasoline sector to restore the free market system of competition;

- one from the Township of Chisholm petitioning for the reinstatement of the spring bear hunt;

- and one from a coalition for reforming the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). Township Clerk Jack Pauhl explained that presently, if a township passes a bylaw, someone could take it to the OMB and it could be overturned. This effectively takes the power away from elected officials and is costing municipalities a lot of money.

WASTE DIVERSION ONTARIO DATACALL RESULTS: According to WDO’s results, in 2004, the net cost for AH’s recycling program was $79,554 or $586 per tonne. This was higher than the municipal average of $235 per tonne. Reeve Hook said later that part of the difference may be the higher fees for trucking in the north, and also variations in reporting data. For example, North Frontenac, which recycles a similar tonnage to AH, reported administration costs of $342, as opposed to AH’s $2397. Reeve Hook says AH is tremendously pleased with its recycling program, which increased 44% from 2003 to 2004, and is up again in 2005. AH will be participating in a WDO program to lower costs and increase recovery rates and revenue for its recycling program.

ROAD SUPERVISOR’S REPORT: Roads Supervisor Royce Rosenblath reported that two ton loads of garbage had been picked up from the Flinton and Bridgewater Roads. Students had twice cleaned up the same roads in the summer; the last time being in late August. Reeve Hook said that hopefully residents will start taking a few licence plate numbers.

- Reeve Hook conveyed a request from the owners of Four Loons Marina on Weslemkoon Lake for speed bumps to be placed in front of the marina. They said that speeding on that stretch is a problem and a child was almost hit. Plastic speed bumps will be put in place for the summer and removed in the winter.

- Councillor Louise Scott asked for lighting to be placed at the intersection of the Skootamatta Lake Rd, as it is hard to see the turn. Rosenblath said he would check with the engineer, and also ask for the speed limit to be kept at 50 and not raised to 60 until after that point.

- A vehicle and boats that have been abandoned at the Ashby Lake landing will be hauled away. Although the main opinion was that the boats are garbage, they will be held for 30 days before being disposed of.

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