| Jul 15, 2005


Feature article, July 14, 2005

Feature article July 14, 2005

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Central Frontenac Train Museum rolls back to Council

by Jeff Green

Weve certainly had our share of ups and downs over the past four and a half years, said Norm Landry, the chair of the Central Frontenac Train Museum Committee during a visit to a meeting of Central Frontenac Council this week.

The committee developed out of a steering committee that sprung up in January of 2001 out of local enthusiasm for the collection of railway memorabilia that Sharbot Lake resident Gary Cooke has collected over the years.

The committee realised in 2002, under chair Mike Driscoll, that it must pursue incorporation in order to be eligible for government grants, and that was undertaken. When Mike Driscoll died suddenly in 2003, the committee was slowed down for a time, but has rebounded, and under current chair Norm Landry, it has undertaken a membership drive and is developing plans for a 25 by 112 structure to be located where the Sharbot Lake Station used to be located.

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I know that Council is aware of ownership issues over that location which is owned by CP, Landry said to Council, so if that cant be worked out we will be looking to move to a triangle of land nearby that the township owns. I have talked to an official from CN in Toronto who did not rule out selling the property, but thats as far as Ive been able to get.

Current plans are to put the museum on the first floor and in the basement of the building, leaving room for a 4,000 square foot library and some rental office space on the upper floor.

One issue that Landry hopes to see addressed soon is the condition of the soil in the area.

While Council once again responded favourably to the museum proposal, there was some concern about tying the museum concept to that of a new library for Sharbot Lake.

A recent consultants report for the Kingston Frontenac Public Library Board called for the construction of a 4,000 square foot library in Sharbot Lake, but tied that recommendation to closing the other three library branches in Central Frontenac.

Any talk of a new library will get people very nervous in other communities, and this will cut into support for the museum project, said Councillor Logan Murray.

Norm Landry said he didnt see why the library/museum concept couldnt go ahead without calling for the closure of other libraries in the township.

The potential for success in a major fundraising venue would be far greater for a museum/library complex than for almost any other multi or single use structure, Landry said in his written report to Council.

Mayor Bill MacDonald, who has been the Frontenac County representative on the Library Board for several years, said, Ive said this before. There is no way that any of the libraries in Central Frontenac will close as long as I am on the Board. The Sharbot Lake Library has the fastest growing circulation in the entire library system, so expansion can be justified without closing any other branches.

In the end, the Library Board amended the consultants report, pulling the calls for Library closings in Central and North Frontenac out of the report before accepting it.

Norm Landry said that he would be returning to Council in the near future looking for a solid commitment towards bringing a train museum about.

Kids of Steel returning

The Sharbot Lake Triathlon weekend is scheduled for August 13 and 14 in Sharbot Lake.

The adult and no-frills Triathlons are scheduled for August 13, and the Kids of Steel Triathlon is scheduled for August 14.

The Kids of Steel is the larger of the two events and has a greater impact on the community, since it involves periodic road closures on Road 38 throughout the Sunday morning running of the race.

A package was sent for the consideration of Central Frontenac Council this week from Amanda MacDonald, this years race co-ordinator.

Aside from mentioning the road closing, the package also asked Council for permission to make extensive use of the Sharbot Lake beach and picnic area, and parking areas in the vicinity of the beach, and for access to electrical outlets.

Last year, the Sharbot Lake event was the provincial championship and over 300 youngsters raced. This year organizers are expecting between 200 and 300 racers.

In considering the package, and its support for the Kids of Steel, some councillors recalled a few complaints about the road closings from last year.

The road closings are not a matter for us to worry about, pointed out Mayor Bill MacDonald, its the OPP that deals with that.

In the end, Council extended their support and approval, pending the organizers attending a meeting with Council and other local parties in advance of the event. Anyone interested in the Kids of Steel, should go to www.ottawakidstri.org. The Adult Triathlon on August 13 can be accessed at www.zone3sports.com)

LOLTA request The Land O Lakes Tourist Association (LOLTA) submitted a request for funding support. Council had earmarked $6,000 for the tourist marketing group in their 2005 budget, and approved sending the money on to LOLTA. The township donated the same amount in 2004.

Noise Bylaw exemption Paul Osborne submitted a request for an exemption from the townships noise bylaw for a wedding scheduled for Camp Kennebec on September 3. The request is for permission to play music until 1 or 2 am on that date.

There have been noise complaints about Camp Kennebec in the past and some councillors, particularly Councillor Jack Nicolson, thought it unwise to circumvent the noise bylaw in this case, but the majority voted to approve the exemption in this case.

Fencing at Crow Lake School The Crow Lake Community Association, which operated the Crow Lake School (a township building) under an agreement with the township, requested that the township pay for materials to build a fence around the property. The Community Association would then put the fence up themselves. The Public Works department estimated the cost of materials at $1425 plus $125 for delivery. The request was accepted, with only Councillor Snyder voting against it.

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