Jeff Green | Dec 03, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - December 3, 2009South Frontenac CouncilBy Wilma Kenny
The meeting began with the swearing-in of Councillor Ron Vandewal as Deputy Mayor of South Frontenac Township, for the year 2010.
Sydenham Triathlon to Continue
Terry McKinty spoke on behalf of a delegation representing the Sydenham Triathlon. He noted that the success of this summer's event owed much to township staff, volunteer committee members, the Legion and staff and pupils of SHS. Over 400 people attended.
He asked Council's permission to begin planning for a second triathlon on July 4, 2010.
McKinty said there were some issues to address, e.g. in relation to the route, but he thought the race could become an annual Sydenham event on the Sunday after Canada Day. Councillor Stowe thanked him for their donation to the Cat trail. Mayor Davison asked whether the event needed to be renamed from "Kingston" to "Sydenham." McKinty said they were downplaying the name Kingston, but wanted to keep it in the title one more year, to help out-of-town participants locate the area more easily.
Colebrook Road Concerns
Harrowsmith resident Monica Brown began her presentation to Council by saying that after a man died on her front lawn, she began to talk with her
Colebrook Road neighbours, and learned that they all had grave concerns about traffic along that road. Speeding, both by cars coming off Road 38, and along Colebrook Road from the west topped the list: over the years, more than 20 pets have been killed. Other concerns included: the six-way intersection at Road 38, two schools, blind entrances to the cemetery and the Golden Links hall across the road, lack of sidewalk or shoulder for pedestrians and horse riders, and heavy trucks using the road as a shortcut. Several residents admitted to the unadvisable practise of driving slowly in the centre of the road to slow speeders.
She said a number of solutions had been proposed, but the three top choices seemed to be: setting a speed limit of 40, more signage, and greater OPP presence. Other possible traffic calming measures might include rumble zones, crosswalks on 38, extending a sidewalk to the Golden Links hall, or constructing a roundabout.
Stowe mentioned flashing lights activated whenever school's in session.
Robinson said that although he agreed with Brown's concerns, some of her suggestions, such as an extended sidewalk, or lowering the hill past the cemetery, could be prohibitively expensive. As for needing crosswalks, Robinson said that very few children lived west of 38, and any who were east of the highway were bussed to school.
Mayor Davison congratulated Brown on an excellent presentation, saying Public Works Manager Segsworth would review her report and bring his recommendations to Council. Meanwhile, they would ask the OPP for more frequent patrols.
Private Lane Upgrading Assistance
The 2009 Bedford District road budget had contained $10,000 for the purpose of subsidizing up to 50% of private lane improvements, with the goal of making them more accessible to emergency vehicles. Segsworth said the pilot program has not been as well known or understood as anticipated, but he felt it is worthwhile, and worth continuing. Those who have used it are very appreciative of help from the municipality.
Deputy Mayor Vandewal said that he had been sceptical of the program, but now "I don't think it's such a bad idea." Mayor Davison agreed, but pointed out that the township had as many miles of private as public roads, wondering how the program could be moved into amalgamation.
Robinson asked how the township collected the money: Segsworth said they dealt with road associations, not individual residents, and the onus was on the associations to complete and pay for the upgrading, before applying to the township for a (post inspection) rebate.
Bedford Hall Kitchen Renovations
Four tenders were received, ranging from the lowest, $23,625 up to $52,000. CAO Orr said the low bid was thorough, and the contractor, Shelley Home Improvements, was well recommended. SHI's bid was approved.
Township Reserves Look Healthy
Councillor Fillion had asked for an update on the township's reserve funds. Accordingly, the treasurer prepared a Year To Date Reserve report, which shows that as of November 19th, the township has over $16 million in reserve. Some questioned whether this high an amount was appropriate: Mayor Davison reminded them that the roads transfer payment from the city was slated to run out in a few more years. Council agreed to discuss this and other questions in more detail as part of budget deliberations when treasurer Bracken is present to explain the figures. It was noted that the year-end figures would be different. Many portions of the fund were earmarked for specific future expenses, such as landfill site closures, equipment replacement, etc.
Architect seeking to lower costs at Sydenham LibraryBy Jeff Green
Gerry Shoalts of the Shoalts and Zabach Architects had just received the preliminary cost estimates for the Sydenham Library when he brought them to a meeting of the committee of South Frontenac Council that is overseeing the project last month.
The numbers were not good, $350,000 over the projected $2.25 million construction cost. While a federal/provincial grant is in place to cover 2/3 of construction costs, it is capped at $1.5 million, so anything over $2.25 will come from South Frontenac ratepayers.
Gerry Shoalts has been looking more closely at the plans, and will return to the committee this week. Possibilities for cost savings include simplifying the design of the building, abandoning the goal of attaining a LEEDS Silver energy efficiency standard, or eliminating some rooms.
Construction is still expected to commence next year, with a completion date no later than March 2011.