| Apr 21, 2005

Feature article,April 21, 2005

Feature article April 21, 2005

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Fire Hall plan causes ireand other North Frontenac Council Matters

by Jeff Green

Bill Flieler, the former Reeve of Clarendon and Miller township, appeared as a delegate to North Frontenac Council last Thursday, April 13, and presented a petition signed by 314 people, expressing opposition to the planned building of a new fire hall at the old MNR site on Buckshot Lake Road at Plevna.

Chief among their concerns is the fact that the hall will be located several kilometres away from where it is now, at the township office on Road 506 between Ardoch and Plevna. For people who live in the Ardoch and Fernleigh areas, the new fire hall will be further from their homes, and Fleiler said that he has heard from one woman in particular, who lives on a fixed income, and has been told her insurance will go up $400 per year when the fire hall is moved.


In one of their preliminary reports, the Fire Hall Task Force claimed that the change in location would bring the fire hall closer to many properties, even as it becomes a longer drive to other locations. The Task Force concluded that the net outcome was neutral overall.

Flieler also argued that the current location was suitable, and said concerns about carbon monoxide in the township office could be alleviated by blocking of certain doors, and opening other doors. He also said the township office could move to the new location and the fire hall stay where it is for less money than is being contemplated for a new fire hall.

Finally, Flieler complained about a lack of public consultation on the fire hall, reading out an editorial from the April 7 edition of the Frontenac News, Wilma Kennys Rage Against the Municipal Machine.

On this matter, Councillor Will Cybulski responded by saying the fire hall issue and other public issues will be the subject of a public meeting on May 14 at the Barrie Hall, from 9 am to 12 pm.

A lot of the issues Mr. Flieler has brought up will be addressed at that meeting, Cybulski said.

Councillor Bud Clayton said I think Bill is stating his own opinion. Its [the new fire hall] not a done deal by any means.

Later in the meeting, council considered two proposals out of the five it has received in response to a Request For Proposal that had been circulated for the design of a new fire hall. The consideration was complicated by the fact that the lowest, and most compelling bid, was accompanied by an un-requested proposal for a pre-fabricated building to be attached to the existing building on the MNR site, which is to be renovated.

Several councillors thought the prefabricated building might be a good option, but it was not what had been requested in the request for proposal document.

Eventually it was decided that other bidders be given the opportunity to make proposals for a prefabricated building, and a revised Request for Proposal will be prepared.

We have made a firm decision not to decide, said Councillor Cybulski afterwards.

The proposal that includes a prefabricated building would cost about $24,000 for the design contract, but the estimated cost of the project would approach $400,000. Originally the Fire Hall Task Force had been hoping to provide a new fire hall for $300,000. $100,000 has been committed to the project by the Clar/Mill Fire Ladies Auxiliary, and the township will have to finance the rest if the project is approved.

A final decision will not happen until the budgetary implications are looked at, and the public meeting on May 14 takes place.

Other Council matters:

Sunday gun hunting prohibition remains

Councillors Dick Hook and Dave Smith were absent from last weeks meeting, and this might have been a factor in a decision by Council to reject a call from the Ministry of Natural Resources to allow gun hunting on Sundays during the various hunting seasons. Most on Council were sceptical about the claim this would help deal with nuisance deer, saying an expanded season or an increase or increasing the number of doe tags would be much more effective.

The voting broke down along hunter/non-hunter lines. Mayor Maguire, Deputy Mayor Lemke, and Councillor Hunter opposed Sunday gun hunting, and Councillors Clayton and Cybulski voted in favour. The motion was defeated.

SPEED LIMIT BYLAW FINALLY PASSED: After delaying third reading on two occasions so the bylaw could be clarified, Council passed the new speed limit bylaw, stipulating all 50 km/hr zones within the township. The list of 50 km/h zones has been posted on the townships website. Signs will be posted and the OPP will be notified so they can enforce the bylaw when they are present in the township.

POLICING: The Policing Task Force had been committed to bringing in its final report but Councillor Cybulski asked for more time, saying he had not as yet received all the required information. It is highly unlikely, however, that the Task Force will recommend changing from the current policing system, known as Status Quo Policing, to a formal policing contract. Contract policing would be too expensive.

ONTARIO MUNICIPAL PARTNERSHIP FUND CAO/Treasurer Cheryl Robson told Council that she is still looking for detailed explanation as to how the new Ontario Municipal Partnership fund will work, and how much money the township can expect to receive through the fund in future years. She said she will be meeting with other treasurers in the coming weeks and will bring whatever information she can gather to the budget process that is currently underway in North Frontenac.

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