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Feature Article - November 3, 2005

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Feature Article

November 3, 2005

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Gray MerriamLegaleseGeneral information and opinion on legal topics by Rural Legal ServicesNature Reflectionsby Jean GriffinNight Skiesby Leo Enright

Amalgamation rears its head:South Frontenac Council report

by Wilma Kenny

Amalgamation Rears its Head, & Spots an Election next Year

CAO Gord Burns recommended that Council advertise for a consultant to perform an organizational review for the Township. One part of such a review would examine services and staffing requirements: the other part would look at area rating and amalgamation, or "the extent to which the Township of South Frontenac now functions as a cohesive political entity."

There appeared to be a distinct lack of cohesion in the discussion that followed, although most of he Councillors agreed that amalgamation would never be achieved during the term of the present council.


The Township has amalgamated planning and zoning, the fire departments are united under the direction of one chief, and waste management practises, particularly recycling, have much more in common now. However, recreation, roads and management of waste disposal sites remain area rated, with separate district budgets. There was some agreement with Councillor Jack Barr’s opinion that outside objective advice might be helpful in moving toward full amalgamation. Others were of the opinion that this council had neither the cohesion nor the will to work toward consensus.

"It’s a waste to spend all that money for a report that will just go on the shelf," commented Robinson, "It’s certainly being filled, that shelf."

Councillor Del Stowe suggested that amalgamation might well be a significant issue in next year’s election. In the end, the motion passed with a split vote, with Vandewal, Smith, Robinson and Lake opposed.

Sydenham Water

In a heated exchange with Mayor Lake, Alastair Lamb of the Sydenham Safe Water Association asked to see a record of the agreement that stated the municipal portion of Sydenham water costs were to be borne by the residents of Sydenham, and not by the district of Loughborough or the Township.

Lamb also asked why the Council had not accepted some of the cost-effective measures recommended by the SSWA in regard to depth and material of piping, etc. Councillor Smith said it might have helped if the SSWA had attended the water committee meetings, where these questions had been discussed. Councillor Vandewal said he would like a letter sent out with the next tax bill, advising township residents who wished to contribute to Sydenham water costs that they would be issued a tax receipt for their donations.Portland Landfill Site Operation

Council passed an agreement with D&B Company of Harrowsmith for operation of the Portland landfill site for one year. (Councillor Robinson had declared a conflict of interest, and left the room). Councillor Smith said he recommended this one-year contract renewal, rather than going to tender, on account of the number of changes being made in the operation of the waste disposal site this year, and the importance of continuity being provided by a ‘supplier of record.’NF Arena Renovation Project Needs VolunteersThere will be a public meeting at the NF Arena Thursday November 3, at 7:00 pm, to determine whether there is sufficient public support for the project to be able to continue.

Property Assessment Information SessionMPAC will be holding an open house Thursday November 24, 7-9 pm at the municipal hall, Sydenham, to discuss the assessment notices recently sent to property owners in South Frontenac

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