| Dec 10, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - December 10, 2009 North Frontenac CouncilBy Jeff Green

Septic reinspection report

North Frontenac Township Council received the annual report about their septic reinspection project from Eric Kohlsmith of the Mississippi and Rideau Valley Conservation Authorities last Thursday, December 3.

Kohlsmith described what he considered a successful program, with 127 inspections completed after 260 questionnaires were sent out to waterfront property owners. For the first time in the five years the program has been running, inspections were carried out on a number of water-access properties in 2009.

Of the 127 systems that were inspected, 102 were classed as cottage/seasonal, 4 commercial, and 21 residential. Fifty-four of the systems that were inspected had no issues that needed addressing, and 59 needed some remedial work (including pumping, replacement of baffles, or problems with grading or excess vegetation in the leaching bed)

“We found eight systems that needed replacement,” Kohlsmith said.


In terms of communication, he said that improvements need to be made because many residents who use a grey water and privy (outhouse) system or a holding tank system assume their systems are not part of the program. “They are still septic systems that need to be looked at, even if they do not have what we call a class 4 system with a tank and a septic bed,” he said.

The 150 people who did not respond to the questionnaire this year have been flagged and will receive a questionnaire again in 2010. Property owners who ignore the questionnaire for three years will be directed to the bylaw officer for a mandatory inspection.

“A lot of lake associations are putting pressure on their members to undergo the inspections,” said Jim Beam.

“We definitely want you back next year,” Councilor Fred Perry said to Eric Kohlsmith.

ROADS TASK FORCE REPORT: The Roads Committee Task Force final report was received by council, along with a version of the report with a series of added comments by committee members Karin Reynolds and Frank McEvoy, which constitute a minority report.

The report includes sections on the major road classifications and the level of maintenance that is to be done on each class of road, which is in line with existing guidelines the township has already adopted.

On the contentious issue of maintenance on roads the township owns but does not maintain, the report recommends the following - “Establish a standardised criteria and dollar formula for the cost/benefit analysis of changing the classification of a road or starting winter maintenance ...”

In their comments, Reynolds and McEvoy asked that the “cost/benefit” analysis not include upgrading those roads to the township standard, which they say even most roads that are maintained by the township don't meet.

The report also talks about establishing “a documented procedure and forms for allowing homeowners to perform winter maintenance on unmaintained township roads subject to an agreement between the township and the property owners” which needs clarification, according to Reynolds and McEvoy.

“I suggest we spend a half a day in budgeting, talking about roads,” said Township Chief Administrator/Treasurer Cheryl Robson.

“I find the report pretty overwhelming,” said Deputy Mayor Jim Beam.

KALADAR-BARRIE FIRE DEPARTMENT – The back and forth between North Frontenac and Addington Highlands over the agreement concerning the joint fire department continues, and will be a major topic at a joint meeting of the two township councils that North Frontenac is hoping to set up for mid-January.

North Frontenac proposed that a lawyer be hired to draft a new agreement, offering to pay the entire cost and be reimbursed from the 2010 Addington Highlands budget, but Addington Highlands says the agreement can be hammered out by staff at a minimal cost.

“We need for there to be protocols,” said North Frontenac Clerk/Planner Brenda DeFosse, “I don't care if it is theirs or ours, but we need them.”

RAGGED CHUTES REDUX - When Council considered a request for maintenance all the way to the end of the Ragged Chutes road, the resident said it had been maintained in the past, backing that assertion up by a claim that former roads worker Courtland Kelford had done the maintenance. Kelford wrote to Council that the road was maintained part of way in on a regular basis, but from “there on to the end it was only graded once or twice a year and gravel put on whenever there was a washout. There was a culvert washed out one year and the culvert was fixed and gravel put on. In the Ice storm of '98 this road was brushed and cleaned up. The road has always been maintained all the years I worked for the township.”

In response to the letter, Councillor Wayne Good said the letter “doesn't mean anything. That was then; this is now.” 

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