| Jun 29, 2006

Feature Article - June 29, 2006

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Feature Article - June 29, 2006

Central Frontenac to consider permittingATVs on township roads

by JeffGreen

A delegation from the Frontenac ATV Club came to Central Frontenac Council this week to see if they could persuade the township to pass a bylaw permitting the use of ATVs on township roads.

As Patricia Dawson, the club’s secretary, pointed out, many neighbouring townships, including North and South Frontenac, now permit certain kinds of ATVs driven by people with G2 or M2 licences to use their roads, but Central Frontenac has never considered the issue.

“No one has, ever come to council requesting this before,” said Mayor Bill MacDonald, “We have not dodged this issue; it has not been raised.”

Patricia Dawson said that the ATV bylaw has been successfully implemented in South Frontenac, and she presented information regarding how the ATV bylaw that was adopted initially for only one year in that jurisdiction, has now been accepted on a permanent basis.


“By passing a bylaw, the situation has been improved. Instead of ATVs riding illegally on township roads, they are riding according to safety regulations that can be enforced,” Dawson argued

Deputy Mayor Frances Smith said, “One of the concerns I have is with gravel roads with little or no shoulder. Do ATVs have permission to ride on the road where there is no shoulder?”

Pat Dawson replies that ATVs are expected to ride on the far right - on the shoulder if there is one, or on the road where necessary.

Mayor MacDonald said that the local OPP have said they don’t recommend going forward with this.

“”I suggest you contact them again,” said Patricia Dawson, “now that the experience of having a bylaw in place is better understood. Sgt. Fowler, of the Frontenac Detachment, for example, has been supportive.”

Some councillors expressed full support for an ATV bylaw, whereas others expressed more qualified support.

Councillor Logan Murray was the only one who expressed outright opposition. He said that he solicited opinions from 11 people on legalising ATV use of roads, and four were in favour while seven were opposed.

“They tear up and down my road, and people don’t like them,” Murray said.

Patricia Dawson cautioned council that they consider the will of the majority when they think about whether to pass an ATV bylaw.

“Most of the people who live in your township year round and shop in the stores and volunteer in the fire departments are in favour of this,” she said, “you might want to consider their interests over those of a minority who might oppose it.”

Rather than requesting staff to prepare a bylaw for council’s consideration, a motion was proposed whereby staff would bring back information to the next council meeting on the implications of an ATV bylaw.

An ATV bylaw in Central Frontenac is more likely now than it has been at any other time.

Tichborne Properties – A discussion took place concerning four abandoned properties at the north end of Tichborne. Three of them are owned by Petro-Canada, including the former Lakeland Store and Gas bar.

Township staff was asked to consider whether the buildings were a hazard and demolition should be ordered. A staff report said “An investigation has taken place from the outside and no evidence has been found to recommend demolition.”

The concern was expressed that these buildings, being in a state of disrepair, have become an eyesore that does not speak well for the township as people drive by. The question was also raised as to the possibility of groundwater contamination on the properties.

“We would need to have a property standards bylaw in order to do anything about these properties, and it would have to apply to properties throughout the township,” said Deputy Mayor Frances Smith.

It was determined that council could write a letter to Petro-Canada asking them what they are planning to do with the properties, and staff was directed to prepare a letter.

COMRIF – Councillor Murray proposed that the township apply to get funding for hard topping of 100 kms of the most heavily travelled gravel roads in the township’s intake number 3 of the Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF).

The township received funding support for a rebuild of Road 38 from intake 2 of COMRIF recently, and Mayor MacDonald said, “We have no chance of getting funding after getting it last time, and it is expensive to apply, so I wonder why we would do this.”

“I looked at the COMRIF application, and any one of us could fill it out. I don’t think it would be expensive. The Public Works Manager has already looked at this. He already did some work on this last year. We will never have the money to do this on our own, so I think we should at least try and get funding support,” said Logan Murray.

“It’s not a matter of filling out forms,” MacDonald reiterated, “these things require engineering. It took four tries to get the grant we got for Road 38, and it also took political work over a long period of time.”

It was decided that Public Works Manager Bill Nicol should be asked to prepare a report for the next meeting on the prospects for an application to prepare and hard top 100 kms of gravel roads.

Two fire hall proposal defeated – Councillor Murray brought back a motion that led to an in camera session at the previous meeting. The motion called for the Public Works Manager to prepare a tender for new fire halls in both Oso and Olden Districts. It would replace a decision by council to prepare a tender for a fire hall in Oso alone, with engineering for the Olden Hall to be included in the work to be done. Construction of the Olden fire hall was deferred until next year, however.

Murray argued that it would only cost about $100,000 more to complete the two halls as part of a single contract, saving the township money in the long run.

With the exception of Councillor Jack Nicolson, every other councillor disagreed with Murray , including the two councillors from Olden District, and his motion was defeated 7-2 in a recorded vote.

“I’m not against a fire hall for Olden” said Councillor Bill Guigue, “but the Public Works Manager has enough on his plate this year, and it would be better to make sure we do a good job on each fire hall than try and get two built in one year.”

Bag tags – Councillor Gutowski pointed out that bag tags are now being sold at waste disposal sites.

Building report – New construction, which had been down significantly from 2005, due in part to new requirements for new home construction, improved somewhat in May, as permits for $1,374,000 worth of construction were issued, bringing the year-to-date total to $2,202,000. That still lags behind 2005, when the May total was $1,566,000 and the January-May total was $3,325,000. The running total for 2006 is now marginally ahead of the similar time period in 2004, however.

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