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Feature Article - January 5, 2006

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Feature Article

January 5, 2006

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Clar-Mill Community Archives becoming a realty:North Frontenac Council, December 15, 2005

by Jule Koch Brison

New Councillor welcomed - The first order of business at the December 15 meeting was the welcoming of Wayne Good as North Frontenac’s newest councillor. Mr. Good is filling the vacancy left by departing councillor Cybulski.

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Community archives - In 2004 Bethany Armstrong had her father Charles’ book “Away Back in Clarendon & Miller” republished. The book was first published in 1976 and is a fascinating history of the Ardoch/Plevna area. Since then over 500 copies have been sold. Bethany also realized that there were no local historical archives in the area, no public source of photos or historical material, and that people who still had many stories to tell were getting older. In August 2004, she proposed to North Frontenac Council that community archives be created with funds from the sale of her father’s book.

Bethany attended the last (and snowiest) council meeting of 2005 to give an update on the project, which has been undertaken jointly by North Frontenac Township and the KFL&A Public Library.

The objectives of the archives are to: a) conserve local materials currently in private hands; b) make them available to the entire community; c) provide a place for local history research; and d) encourage community pride and interest in local history.

The collection will be primarily print-based. They will be seeking books, letters, journals, directories, yearbooks, maps and photos, but cannot at present accept artefacts because of space limitations.

Bethany said that local librarian Heather White has been very supportive – she cleaned out a cupboard for the collection when planning was still starting. “We hope to get painting the cupboard in January, and have an official opening in the new year,” Bethany said.

The archives will be limited to Clarendon and Miller Townships. “If other areas want to come on board, ok, but I can only handle Clar-Mill.” said Bethany.

Mayor Maguire commended Bethany Armstrong on the initiative she has taken and council enthusiastically endorsed a draft letter to be sent to the KFL&A Library.

Community volunteers are needed for the archives, and anyone interested can contact Councillor Betty Hunter, Librarians Heather White and Janice Coles, or Bethany at 613-479-2867, 613-730-2369.

“Some of the older people wonder why we need this- we know these things but my daughter doesn’t know how a farm was run in the 1920s” Bethany concluded.

Council faces litigation - Two very frustrated people, Fritz and Ursula Nussberger of Quality Housing Construction, came to council seeking a permit for putting hydro and water lines under a township road as part of construction they are doing for Aragain Lodge.

According to the Nussbergers, on October 14 they contacted Roads Superintendent John Ibey and asked him what they had to do to dig under a township road. They said he told them to bring him a sketch, which they delivered 2 weeks later. However, they did not hear anything back. At a subsequent council meeting they addressed concerns that the road might have a dip in it as a result of work they did by saying they would take care of any problems for one year.

On November 15 they dug up the road as they had proposed to do in the sketch. By late afternoon the work was done and the road had been filled in again. Township Chief Building Officer Dave Young then brought a letter telling the Nussbergers to undo what they had done that day and put the road back in the same state it was in before. The Nussbergers said that within 24 hours a township crew was on the spot and undid their work.

On November 28 they made another approach to the township to solve the problem by seeing if an easement was needed; however, again they heard nothing back. “The mistake we made is asking. We can count six or seven projects that have done the same thing as us, but nobody bothered to ask… we are only asking for the same rights as everybody else,” said Ursula Nussberger. “We have been misled; no one told us what to do, just said ‘Stop”. There has been damage to our business goodwill – you should hear the rumours.”

Mayor Maguire responded that there were two issues – the work that had been done without permits and the work that the Nussbergers wanted to do in the future. He said that because of the township’s liability, they could not permit any private infrastructure under a township road. Ursula Nussbergerger then said they were considering further action. “Would that be litigation?” Maguire asked. “Yes,” she replied. Maguire said that council would consider the matter in camera and get back to the Nussbergers the following week.

Ursula Nussberger informed the News on Tuesday that they had received a letter from the township denying their request and were going ahead with litigation.

Firehall going ahead - An update was brought to council on the plans for the Firehall. CAO Cheryl Robson said although staff already had authorization to proceed, she was presenting the report as a courtesy to Council because once plans were finalized changes would be very difficult to make. Mayor Maguire thought that the scope of the plan had changed because a complex of offices was not part of it, but Cheryl Robson said that there was no scope change; that was the plan they had worked on.

“We need to set a date to dig,” said Councillor Bud Clayton. When Council was asked by Cheryl Robson if they wanted to slow the process down, a resounding chorus of No’s was the reply.

Website Changes - The township’s website and email addresses will be moving from Mazinaw Online. The new website will be www.northfrontenac.ca, but Mazinaw Online will redirect surfers for six months.

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