| Sep 15, 2005


Feature Article - September 15, 2005

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Feature Article

September 15, 2005

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NorthFrontenac appoints new Fire Chief:North Frontenac Council report

by Jeff Green

Steve Riddell, a long time member of the Snow Road Fire Crew, and a current Deputy Fire Chief with the township department, will take over as North Frontenac Fire Chief on September 24, replacing Cor Bakelaar.

Cor Bakelaar recently completed a one-year contract as Fire Chief, which was extended for one month in order to give the township time to find a replacement.

There were several applicants for the post.

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Looking for a Festival - Following up from a public meeting back in the spring with consultant Jan Bonhomme, North Frontenac Council is seeking a grant from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) to help with a “Finding Our Festival Project”.

Jan Bonhomme, in her role with Festivals Ontario, helped get the Pumpkin Festival in Battersea up and running.

“At the meeting with Jan Bonhomme there was a great deal of enthusiasm expressed by many people who felt we need a Festival in our community, and we have a history with the Ompah Stomp, which ran successfully for many years, but no one has the time to do the legwork to make one happen,” said Councillor Will Cybulski.

The grant, which would be for $8,000, with the township kicking in $2,000 if the grant application is successful, would pay someone to come up with a concept that is unique to North Frontenac, and that could be supported by the community groups that would ultimately ending up organizing such an event.

The Local Initiatives Program umbrella of the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, for which the FCFDC will be accepting applications until later this month, is set up to support projects that “include community strategic planning on a local level, research and feasibility studies, tourism initiatives, and events, seminars and workshops along with small scale technology or capital projects,” according to the application form.

Putting a roof on the rink at Clar/Mil Hall – With a grant deadline approaching, Councillor Betty Hunter asked for Council’s approval last week for her to apply for $25,000 from the Bell Community Sports Fund. In researching the fund, Hunter found out that the monies are to be allocated solely to soccer or hockey-related projects. She has contacted the Plevna ‘Hockey Moms’ who have done some fundraising themselves over the years, and are more than willing to lend their support to the idea of putting a roof on the outdoor rink.

In the past few years, winter maintenance of the ice surface has been a problem, and a roof would alleviate the need to shovel the rink. It would also make the entire Clar/Mil facility more functional, as the rink surface would become a large adjunct to the Hall for summer events that are weather sensitive. A resolution was passed giving Betty Hunter the authority to apply for the grant.

More on grants – The next deadline for Trillium grants is coming up on November 1, and townships are now eligible for this wide-ranging program. The application process is complicated, however, so Councillor Hunter, who chairs Council’s Economic Development Committee, requested that a task force be set up to work on Trillium Applications for one or more projects. This was approved by Council.

Speaking on behalf of township staff, Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson thanked Coucil for all the work they have been doing in applying for grants. “Staff does not have the time to do this work,” she said, “so it’s great that Councillors have taken much of it on.”

“Smallest Rural Municipalities” resolution – North Frontenac’s Mayor Ron Maguire has been active of late putting together a resolution about the fiscal fate of very small municipalities in Ontario, those with under $10,000 residents, for the consideration of all municipalities in Ontario through the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO).

The resolution points out that these smaller municipalities make up 60% of all municipalities within the province. Because of their small tax base, these municipalities are less able than larger municipalities to shoulder the burden of maintaining roads and bridges, and funding social programs that were downloaded by the provincial government. As well, transfers from the provincial and federal governments are often calculated on the basis of population, to the disadvantage of smaller municipalities.

The resolution then proposes that “minimum capital program funding thresholds” be established for the smallest rural municipalities.

Maguire was aided by County of Frontenac Chief Administrative Officer Elizabeth Fulton in developing the resolution, which was endorsed by North Frontenac township and has since been endorsed by Central Frontenac as well. Maguire is hopeful that the proposal included within the resolution will gain credibility with the provincial and federal governments if the resolution is endorsed by the majority of Ontario’s municipalties.

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