| Feb 24, 2005


Feature artcle, February 24, 2005

Feature article February 24, 2005

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School Board needs new policy on bus cancellationsAH Council, Feb 21, 2005

by Jule Koch Brison

The policy of the Tri-Board Student Transportation Services regarding school bus cancellations in inclement weather is inadequate, Road Supervisor Royce Rosenblath told council at its Denbigh meeting on Monday night.

Rosenblath said the Board should be making the decisions on cancellations instead of leaving it up to individual drivers. Its too much responsibility for the bus drivers. They feel they should go if the other drivers do.

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Township Clerk Jack Pauhl said that the Tri-Boards policy as stated on its website is that bus drivers are to contact municipalities roads superintendents before 6:00 a.m. to determine if they should transport students. Rosenblath said that only a few drivers ever contact him and that the board should appoint someone to contact him and make the decisions. He said in other areas the Tri-Board has made the decisions on the cancellations, and not left it up to the bus drivers.

Rosenblath gave another example of what he felt was poor decision making by the Board. On Feb. 14, instead of waiting until the roads were sanded, the Board decided to dismiss the students early because of the icy conditions. The bus drivers were told not to go on the side roads; parents met the buses and picked their children up. They didnt put the buses on the side roads, but they still put a lot of cars on them when it wasnt safe to drive, said Rosenblath, adding that in Madoc the children were kept in school until the roads were sanded.

Rosenblath also said that there have been times when the Tri-Board cancelled the whole area but neither the principal at NAEC or the head teacher at Denbigh Public School knew it. It makes you wonder about their communications, he said.

Council has asked the Board to send a representative to meet with them so they can discuss these concerns; however Jack Pauhl says he has been trying for a while to set up a meeting but hasnt heard back.

Council will continue to try to meet with the Board.

Business over Breakfast moves to Flinton Hall but whos cooking?

Economic Development Chair Bill Brown reported that Addington Highlands first Business over Breakfast event was so successful that the participants want it repeated quarterly. One question was where to hold the meetings The Lions are asking $175 for the use of their hall, but the Economic Development Committee only has $325 to its name, which it has been given by its sponsors.

Council decided to hold the breakfasts at the Flinton Hall, but could not decide whether to include area churches in the request for tenders for catering. Bill Brown envisioned businesses asking, Do you expect us to compete with groups that dont have to pay employees?

Council decided that as no township money was being spent on the event, the EDC could make the decisions on the catering.

Paramedic lunch hours

Council voted to support a petition from the County of Frontenac requesting that the province of Ontario exempt paramedics from regulations requiring lunch breaks.

Plexiglass lids for garbage bins

Councillor Bill Cox requested that plexiglass be put in the heavy steel lids on the garbage bins in Flinton. In May last year, one of the lids came down on the end of a womans finger, severing it. The township tried using a plastic bin but it was being damaged and had to be removed. Coxs request was approved.

Doctor Woes

Council has so far been unsuccessful in attracting a new doctor to Addington Highlands. They voted to send a letter to MPP Leona Dombrowsky asking her assistance in initiating a program to permit an International Medical Graduate to complete his or her studies working at the Northbrook Medical Centre and so obtain their MD licence to practice in Ontario.

Safety audit of garages

The Municipal Health and Safety Association is conducting a safety audit of the township garages and has already ordered the fuel and propane tanks to be replaced. Royce Rosenblath noted that if the MHSA found unsafe practices and conditions, the employer, supervisor as well as the employee would all be fined.

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