| Feb 03, 2005

Feature Article February 3, 2004

Feature article February 3, 2005

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Sydenham Residents Solidly Behind Safe Water Association

by Wilma Kenny

February came in like a lion for South Frontenac Council. Januarys meetings had been short and uneventful, but the first of February meeting saw fireworks and drama.


Councillor Robinson left the meeting when the Sydenham Safe Water Associations delegate rose to speak. Richard Munroe presented a petition signed by 215 of the 244 Sydenham homeowners in the area designated to be served by the proposed Sydenham water system. (Of the remaining homeowners, the SSWA wasnt able to contact 21, and 8 did not sign the petition.) The petition asked the Township to provide three pieces of information to individual homeowners PRIOR to the Townships committing to construction of the proposed waterworks. The three questions are: (a) What portion of the capital cost of the plant and distribution system will I have to pay? (b) What can I reasonably expect to pay for hook-up? And (c) What are the estimated on-going annual costs?

Discussion centred on the question of hook-up and well closing costs: the Association submitted a detailed proposal describing how the municipality could help the homeowners estimate these expenses before approving tenders, and asked for a response from the Township by February 8. Mayor Lake said that Council was trying to move forward and work with the residents, and suggested that some of the SSWAs actions were holding up progress. He said that until the tenders were in, there was no point in trying to guess at costs. Alistair Lamb pointed out that the current project being tendered did not include hook-ups: that was a separate cost, and surely the consulting engineers could begin to work on estimating this. Mayor Lake asked why they should spend more money until they knew whether the project was going to run, and this wouldnt be known until tender bids were received. After many angry comments from the floor, the Mayor closed discussion, and Councillor Robinson returned to the meeting.

Zoning By-law Amendment

After much discussion, Council passed a by-law rezoning a property on the corner of William and Amelia Streets from urban residential to Special Urban Commercial, to allow Dan Vandermeer to operate his engine repair business from his house and property. Neighbours expressed concern about the noise and increase in traffic that this would cause in a residential area. Councillor Smith agreed that it would be unlikely that all repairs and motor testing could be confined within a closed building, and that an engine repair business would be noisy. Several other village residents spoke in general support of small businesses. In passing the zone change, Council placed a number of requirements and restrictions including: no outside storage, hours of operation Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, the workshop must have sound insulation, and screening must be provided by shrubs and fencing. Councillors Smith, Roos and Stowe opposed the zone change.

Alcohol Ban at Fire Halls?

Fire Chief Rick Chesebrough brought forward a proposal that alcohol not be permitted at or around any of the firehalls during fundraising activities or other functions. He based this on six incidents that have occurred in the past six months, and on concerns about liability and public perception. He said that three of the four district chiefs agreed with an alcohol ban. Neither OPP nor ambulance services have alcohol on site. Councillor Robinson said that he was not aware of alcohol-related problems at bbqs or fish fries, and spoke in favour of preserving a "rural tradition." A motion will be brought to the next council meeting for decision.

Chesebrough also brought a motion concerning reimbursing township employees who are Volunteer Firefighters. During work hours, these individuals are to respond only to serious calls, and only with their supervisors permission. They will receive their regular pay for a fire call during work hours, and this cost will be paid, as a journal entry, by the district where they are serving.

Council approved a motion to install fire/intrusion alarm systems in the fire halls that do not have them at present.

Storrington Recycling

Council agreed to exercise the option to extend for one year the contract for recycling collecting in Storrington. Councillor Barr complained that the Sustainability Committee wasnt moving fast enough. Councillor Smith defended the committees work, and things became quite noisy for a few minutes.

Provision of Sand to the Public

Council approved a policy for provision of sand: it will not be sold or provided to any contractors other than those with whom the Township has contracted for winter services on Township property. Small amounts (equivalent of two 5-gallon pails) of free sand will be available to Township residents from a sandpile just inside the yard gates under no circumstances will the public be permitted to enter the Township sand storage facilities.

Library Board Report

One of the few non-controversial items of the evening was a brief report from Warden Bill MacDonald and Wilma Kenny, Township representatives on the Kingston Frontenac Public Library board. They reminded Council that the Librarys recently adopted 25-year plan called for Storrington library to remain much as it is, Hartington Branch to be moved to larger facilities in Verona, and Sydenham branch to be enlarged. Councils allocation of a portion of development fees to the library is a positive step toward eventual enhancement of library facilities in the township.

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