| Feb 10, 2005

Letter February 3, 2005

Feature article February 10, 2005

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Logging in Addington Highlands

by Jeff Green

The logging industry, historically the economic backbone of the economy in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Counties, is still being carried on to the benefit of the local economy, but the industry has not had the same amount of publicity as others, particularly tourism.

This was on the mind of logger Amphien Snider when he appeared before Addington Highlands Council this week to talk about loggers, roads, and road salt.

We are not always just the bad guys, Snider said, referring to the effect of logging trucks on township roads. A lot of road work has been done by loggers over the years, he said. He also talked about how much care his and his son Dans trucks take to avoid hauling logs over soft roads.


Snider said that in the past he used to be able to contact the roads manager and get permission to haul full loads when the roads were in shape to handle them, making it easier to avoid hauling completely when the roads started to soften. All of that has changed with amalgamation and new regulations. Snider proposed to Council that a permit system might be developed for certain roads that are primarily used by a single logging operator, with the logger committing to repair the road if they damage it. Council agreed to consider this at their next roads meeting in early March.

The major issue Snider wanted to discuss with Council was the use of township sand by loggers. Snider said loggers take loads of sand from the township sand piles as needed throughout the winter, and said if we are using a bit more than the average taxpayer, we have no objection to paying a bit more. All we would have to do is to keep track of how much we used and pay the township for it.

Snider is not apologetic about the sand he has and continues to take from the township, however.

I dont feel guilty, he said, because I receive seven tax bills from Addington Highlands, and my son Dan receives six, so we pay plenty of tax. That said, we are willing to pay more for sand.

Snider was motivated to appear before Council by comments made at a previous Council meeting about loggers from outside of the township using township sand.

The main concern for the township at that time was safety, and it remains so for Royce Rosenblath, who argues that a separate pile of sand, which could be used by loggers as well as the general public, needs to be put in place.

Youd have to see what goes on on a freezing rain day. I think we have to have two piles, whatever Council wants to do about charging for the sand, he said. The matters raised by Amphien Snider were all referred to the Roads Committee.

Other notes from AH Council

Economic Development Economic Development Committee Chair Bill Brown reported that a meeting with a resort developer would be taking place in Toronto this week. He will be attending, along with Reeve Hook and County Economic Development Manager Hollee Kew. Lets keep our fingers crossed, said Ken Hook.

Fire Department call out summary Fire Chief Casey Cuddy reported to Council with a summary of calls for 2004 for both the Denbigh and Kaladar/Barrie fire stations. The Denbigh station responded to 21 calls, of which 17 required an apparatus response, including 5 motor vehicle accidents/extrications, 3 chimney fires, and 3 false alarms. Kaladar/Barrie responded to 87 calls, 51 of which required an apparatus response, including 15 motor vehicle accidents/extrications, 8 brush fires, 4 medical assists, 4 false automatic alarms, 4 false 911 calls, 3 structural and 2 chimney fires. One of the structural fires resulted in a fatality. A large number of calls, 39, were burning complaints, and of them only 3 required a physical response. Thirty-six were handled over the phone.

New regulation could slow down fire crews

Fire Chief Casey Cuddy brought a communique from the Ontario Fire Marshals office entitled Firefighter response in personal vehicles on closed roads before Addington Highlands Council this week.

The communique says, in part, that the Ontario Provincial Police have advised all detachments that firefighters responding to emergency incidents in personally owned vehicles are not to be allowed on roads that have been closed under the authority of the Highway Traffic Act. Furthermore, firefighters in personal vehicles found traveling on closed roads may be charged with an offence.

The Fire Marshals office makes several recommendations about how municipalities should deal with this, including communicating with Police departments about road closures.

Cuddy told Council that it would severely hamper response times if all members of a crew had to gather at the Fire Hall before responding to a call because a road had been closed. Further, he expressed the opinion that rural fire departments might not follow the new regulations.

If I were going to a call in my own vehicle and the police tries to stop me because a road was closed, I know what Id do, Cuddy said.

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