| Feb 10, 2005

Feture artcle, February 17, 2005

Feature article February 17, 2005

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Clar-Mill Firehall plan moving forwardTask Force focuses in on a design

by Jeff Green

There may indeed be a Firehall built at the old MNR site near Plevna in the not too distant future.

The Task Force for the Clarendon-Miller Firehall will be meeting this week to choose a preferred design, after which time a there will be a tender set out for a detailed site plan and engineering studies.

North Frontenac Fire Chief Cor Bakelaar and Task Force Chair Ted Wilkinson appeared before North Frontenac Council last week. Of the three options for construction Bakelaar talked about, two involve using the existing former MNR building and connecting it to a Firehall. The third option is for a stand-alone Firehall.


The first issue Bakelaar addressed was the status of the asbestos that was used in the construction of the MNR building. Bakelaar presented a report, prepared by Don Chambers, Ted Wilkinson and himself, which states that the asbestos in the cement panelling in the building, has been identified as non-friable. The report states it can either be left in place or removed without posing any particular danger to public. If the panels are to be removed, it will be considered a type 1 operation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, which would require only minimal precautions be taken.

Our conclusion is that the asbestos could be safely removed if we decide to use the MNR building, Bakelaar told Council.

Still, the provincial agency responsible for approving the use of the MNR building, would not give a definitive answer as to whether the building can be renovated. Provincial officials said they would not make any final decision until the project is underway.

The Task Force has developed two plans, one with two large garage doors and one with four. The task force is leaning towards the four-door plan, Bakelaar said, because it would mean all the departments fire trucks could enter or exit the building without having to shuffle other trucks around. The two-door plan would have trucks parked behind each other.

The estimated cost of the project would be about $300,000 and would result in total usable space of 5,000 square feet.

The third proposal, to tear down the existing building and build a stand-alone Firehall, has an advantage in that North Frontenac could put an identical building to the one that was recently constructed in Enterprise. The Stone Mills Fire Department would allow North Frontenac to use all the drawings and other specifications that were used in Enterprise free of charge, saving the township about $7,000 in fees.

The estimated cost of building the stand-alone Firehall is $345,000, and it would be a s4200 square foot structure. While more expensive, the costing is more definitive for the stand-alone Firehall.

All of the proposals include shower and changing facilities, washrooms for men and women, offices and training space, but the 5,000 square foot proposal includes much more storage space.

Ted Wilkinson pointed out that storage is an important issue.

After they built the Fire Hall in Enterprise, they immediately found that they didnt have enough storage.

Council has approved the work of the Task Force to date, and has given staff the go-ahead to set out tenders for producing technical and Engineering plans for the Fire Hall as soon as the Task Force makes their final decision on the basic design of the Clar-Mill FireHall.

Other Council notes

Tappins Bay Dock: Several months ago, The Mazinaw Lake Property Owners Association requested that the township look at improving the dock at Tappins Bay, which they say is inadequate for the amount of boats that attempt to use it during the busy summer season.

Mayor Ron Maguire told Council that he has not yet been able to set up a meeting with Addington Highlands Reeve Ken Hook and the President of the Mazinaw Lake Property Owners Association to discuss possible improvements to the Public Dock at Tappins Bay, which is owned by North Frontenac Township. Maguire said that the estimated cost of improvements to the Dock would be $20,000.

This led Councillor Dave Smith to say, if we do that work over there, everyone who has a dock that we own on their lake will want the same thing.

Mayor Maguire responded that we arent committed to doing anything at this point, but we certainly should discuss it with our neighbouring township.

Councillor Will Cybulski said, We have to keep in mind the fact that there are a significant number of residents that only have water access to their properties, as Im sure there are on other lakes.

After more debate, it was decided that township staff would attempt to determine how many docks the township owns on lakes before dealing with the Tappins Bay request.

Hepner Point

There might be a solution to the Squaw Point renaming initiative. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, responding to the Townships decision to reject the MNR proposal of Skink Point because the five lined skink is a species at risk, has requested that the township make a suggestion. Deputy Mayor Gleva Lemke, contacted Ed Giffin, a former long time resident, to see what suggestions he could offer.

Mr. Giffin suggested either Hepner Point, or Humpy Point. Mr. Hepner, who was presumably called Humpy, was an outdoor Guide on Crotch Lake, and when he took people out on the Lake, he would prepare shore lunches for his patrons. The point in need of a name was one of the places they would have their lunches.

I suppose wed better go with Hepner Point, said Councillor Cybulski, I think we might cause an uproar if we chose Humpy Point.

Do you think a name like Humpy Point on Crotch Lake would be a problem? said Councillor Betty Hunter.

Council decided to submit the name of Hepner Point to the MNR.

Police Task Force

The newly formed Task Force on Policing, which is considering whether to maintain the so-called status quo policing arrangement the township has with the Ontario Provincial Police, or to move towards a policing contract, has held a preliminary meeting with the OPP on the logistics of policing contracts. The task force is now attempting to get financial and service data from Addington Highlands, and waiting for final data on how much North Frontenac will end up paying for policing in 2004.

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