| May 18, 2006

Feature Article - May 18, 2006

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Feature Article - May 18, 2006

Letters to theEditor - May 11 and 18, 2006

Why Bother?

I am a Central Frontenac volunteer firefighter from the Mountain Grove station struggling to comprehend the recent announcement to build a six bay fire hall in Oso District. When I read the article titled “Crumbling fire hall needs replacing” my first thought was, why bother? It’s extremely disheartening for us here in Olden District to go through the planning process for a new fire hall only to learn the process is not mandatory for our counterparts in Oso.The article says, “For years firefighters in Oso district have known there were problems with their fire hall …” so how has Oso planned for a new fire hall? As far as I can tell they haven’t.


I guess Mr. Mark MacDonald expected volunteer fire fighters from Olden district to sit back, be polite and passive. “It’s OK, go ahead Sharbot Lake, we’ve only been planning this project for awhile now, but by all means … go ahead.” I would have thought Mr. Mark MacDonald would have the courtesy of discussing the need for a new fire hall in Sharbot Lake with the Central Frontenac District Fire Chiefs?Nope! Well surely he discussed it with the Olden District Fire Chief? Nope keep guessing.It was announced in the article “Crumbling fire hall needs replacing” in the April 27, 2006 edition of the Frontenac News.

Recently in the “Two halls are better than one” article, the mayor “took issue with how the matter has been circulating in public.” Might I remind you Mr. Mayor that it was your most senior fire official, Mr. Mark MacDonald, that chose not to share the information internally. That’s what really hurts the most, reading about the announcement of the Oso fire hall in the newspaper.I thought we as Olden volunteers rose to the challenge. We made a commitment to build a “temporary” building as a “short term solution”. We used money that we fundraised for from our association to hire a carpenter where we lacked expertise, and we completed the project on time.We met our commitment didn’t we?So, what action was taken by the township in 2005 to meet its commitment?And here we are in 2006 looking forward into 2007 for consideration towards our project.I find myself going back to “Why Bother”. As a taxpayer, and a volunteer that has donated free labour to Central Frontenac initiatives, I have some questions and concerns for the Central Frontenac council to consider: Why should I continue to be a volunteer for your organization? Why would council reward a lack of planning? Providing the complete $500,000 funding required for the Sharbot Lake Fire Hall sends the message to taxpayers that the township has no problem simply raising taxes to fund unplanned projects. What effort has the Sharbot Lake firefighters made to reduce the overall cost? What options have been considered to attempt constructing both fire halls this year?As an example, are six bays at Sharbot Lake required immediately?Can four bays be built this year, two bays next?Why is it impossible to build two new fire halls if funds for the Mountain Grove hall are in reserve?Is there only one contractor available for both projects? Since the announcement of the Oso fire hall project, communication has been poor to say the least.I would like each councilor to ask themselves: How does the public feel on this initiative? Is the public’s opinion a bad thing to ensure the best approach?I know if I lived in the Sharbot Lake village, I would be concerned about the potential for an increased response time by moving the hall outside of the village to the proposed Wagner Road & Highway 38 site. How do you plan on addressing the concerns raised by myself and Mr. Guntensperger? Why would I be nae enough to believe Mr. Mark MacDonald when he says “he is committed to building a new fire hall in Mountain Grove by the end of next year?”Mr. Mark MacDonald, we’ve heard that before, talk is cheap and action speaks volumes. - Rob EdmundsCentral Frontenac Fire Department - Olden DistrictA caring pharmacist

I live in Mississippi , but I doctor in Perth . However, I take all my prescriptions to the Sharbot Lake Pharmacy. It is rare indeed to have a person like Jocelyn Whalen caring for our needs. She is just that, a caring person. Witness, to the fact she takes the time to follow up on any discrepancies on our medications. And phones to make sure. That is over and above the call to duty for her profession (the others don’t do it). Witness, her column at her own expense.

I nominate Jocelyn for the regional caring award, if there is such a thing.

- Pierre D’aoust

Questions to CFCouncil

Congratulations to Norman Guntensperger for his informative letter “Open letter to Council” May 4/06 issue of the Frontenac News. My questions for council:

1. Why were elected councillors for Central Frontenac not made aware that a consultant was hired to determine the condition and safety issues with regard to the fire hall at Oso?

2. Why are all the fire departments not treated equally with regard to equipment and training?

3. Where is the money that was slated for a new fire hall in Olden in 2003? When can we expect to see construction start?

The definition of amalgamation in the dictionary is ‘blend…to grow together…unite’. This does not seem to be the case in Central Frontenac; one district seems to be considered more than others, with dire effects to the other districts.

- Elva Price

CF Township needs input

As a member of the Central Frontenac township economic committee, I have recently learned that the township has reviewed its official plan. They still need public input and they have made a list of questions that everyone can think about and provide their views.

The official plan is the guideline that township employees use to make decisionsand give advice to developers and individual entrepreneurs who may want to start a business, be it a salvage yard or spa, housing development or other issues of importance.

If you have any feeling on how the township develops in the next 5 to 10 years, you may wish to go to:

http://www.centralfrontenac.com/yc/township/departments/planning/official-plan-review-2006/issues-paper-survey/. Justcomplete the survey and send in your views. It takes about 30 minutes. Please let your friends in Central Frontenac know about this issue.

- Doug Steele

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