| Jan 06, 2005


Feature Article January 6, 2005

Feature article January 6, 2005

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Addington Highlands Council

by Jeff Green

It has been a busy holiday season for Addington Highlands Council, as they held meetings on December 20 and on January 4.

On December 20 Council considered their options in regard to the first intake deadline, January 10, for the joint Federal-Provincial infrastructure funding program, known as COMRIF.

Addington Highlands found itself in a bit of a bind. A recent road needs study, conducted by the engineering firm of Tottenham/Sims/Hubicki (TSH) identified Skootamatta road as the #1 road construction priority faced by the township. However, Skootamatta road is a boundary road with North Frontenac and is jointly owned by the two townships. Addington Highlands asked North Frontenac whether they would like to submit a joint application, but North Frontenac will be applying for COMRIF funding for a bridge improvement project on Road 509, and townships can only apply to COMRIF for one project at a time.

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Forty percent of the entire COMRIF budget will be allocated from this first intake. Not wanting to miss out, Addington Highlands Council decided to go ahead and submit an application to reconstruct the first 1.4 kilometres of the Skootamatta road and the .2 kilometre intersection with Hughes Landing road.

We hope that, eventually, North Frontenac will take on the responsibility for fixing the remaining 1.3 kilometres of the road, explained Reeve Ken Hook. Although Skootamatta Road is jointly owned by the two townships, it serves mainly the residents of Skootamatta Lake, who live in Addington Highlands.

It was also decided on December 20 to contract with TSH to prepare the COMRIF application at a cost of $7,000.

On January 4, D.C. Behm of TSH came to the Council meeting. He presented the final version of the road needs study that had been completed last fall, and went over the completed COMRIF application as well.

The total estimated cost of the Skootamatta Lake road reconstruction project is $665,000. If Addington Highlands is successful in their grant proposal, COMRIF funding will cover 2/3 of the cost, leaving the township on the hook for $110,800 each year for two years.

Behm explained that in order to be eligible for COMRIF the road must be graded at 60 or less on a scale of 100, using 20 different criteria (from the condition of the surface, tendency to wash out, etc.) and he calculated that the road is well under that level.

Was there anywhere in the application where the difficulties small municipalities face in coming up with the money for these kinds of projects is taken into account? asked Reeve Hook.

Behm explained that he was going to include the fact that the Road needs study identified $11.4 million in road repairs that should be done in Addington Highlands over the next 10 years.

With an average capital budget of $125,000 per year, it will take Addington Highlands 95 years to complete all those repairs, Behm said, I think that should underline how great the need is for support.

The question is, said Reeve Hook, can we find that amount of money in any given year, along with our regular road maintenance?

Its going to be tight, said Clerk/Treasurer Jack Paul, very tight.

Other council notes

Development contract over A contract between Addington Highlands and a consultant that was directed towards promoting a four-season resort proposal to investors has run out. There do remain a few interested parties and the consultant has agreed to keep working with those parties for the time being.

Concerns over sand Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath came to council with a concern about the danger posed by large numbers of people taking sand from the township stockpile.

When there is ice everywhere, as in the past couple of days, there are times when the people are blocking access by township trucks looking to fill up. This causes delays and can be dangerous, he said.

Rosenblath also expressed concern over the amount of sand being taken, particularly when people repeatedly fill half-ton trucks with sand. The township is not opposed to people taking a reasonable amount of sand for their driveways, and Rosenblath proposed separating out some sand from the main stockpile at the township yard in Northbrook so individuals can take sand without interrupting township operations. In Denbigh, there is a gate at the yard, and a pile of sand can be established outside the locked yard for public use.

Building permits up by 100 in 2004 272 building permits were taken out in 2004, as compared with 172 in 2003. The total value of construction was $4, 424,771, also a marked increase from the previous year. Of those 272 permits, only 9 were commercial permits, for a total construction value of $452,000 in commercial construction.

Arrest for illegal dumping Another individual has been charged with dumping illegally by placing a bag of garbage outside the locked gate of the Waste Disposal Site on Hwy. 41.

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