| Jul 27, 2006


Feature Article - July 27, 2006

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Feature Article - July 27, 2006

Private road residents open up dialogue with township

by JeffGreen

Michael Wise and John DuChene, who live on Blue Heron Ridge Road at Kennebec Lake near Arden , appeared before Central Frontenac Council this week seeking that council consider starting to provide support for residents on private roads within the township with their road maintenance costs.

They brought several documents with them, to support their request that council change the longstanding practice of leaving private road maintenance entirely in the hands of the people who own properties on those roads.

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John DuChene acknowledged the first point council would make to this kind of request, saying, “We realise that when we bought our properties we knew that we lived on a private lane and we were responsible for maintaining our road, but over time, assessed values have increased significantly and it is reasonable for expectations to evolve as well. Perhaps the township, given the changes that have taken place, will feel the need to redistribute funds in a fair and equitable manner.”

Michael Wise said that the ratepayers on Blue Heron Ridge and the secondary Thrush Trail paid $138,000 in property tax last year, of which $83,000 was kept by Central Frontenac.

“You realise that all of that $83,000 did not go to road maintenance,” said Mayor Bill MacDonald.

“Certainly,” Wise replied, “we know how many services are financed with tax dollars, and we also have no desire for the character of our road to change, but we seek to enter into a dialogue with council based on the realisation that people on private roads are making a significant contribution to the township and some way of acknowledging that should be developed.

“Some kind of partnership where the municipality would supply a load of gravel, a culvert - is that what you are looking for?” said Councilor Frances Smith.

“We would be happy to discuss this with you,” said Michael Wise.

“The thing you have to keep in mind is that if we do for you, we have to do for others,” added Smith.

Wise nodded.

Councilor Bob Harvey was not so sympathetic. He said, “That road is your responsibility. Until it is brought up to our road standard there’s nothing that says we have any responsibility towards it.”

Within the documentation provided by the Blue Heron Ridge Association is a listing of private lanes, ranked by the total tax assessment they represent. Five hundred and forty seven properties are located on the first 13 lanes on the list, representing over $50 million in property assessment.

Council thanked Wise and Duchene for coming and committed to looking at entering into discussions with private lane dwellers about how they can be served by the township.

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