| Nov 01, 2007


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Feature Article - November 1, 2007

North Frontenac Council - Oct. 25by Jeff Green

Rancor Over Robertsville

At a North Frontenac Council meeting in Snow Road last Thursday (October 25), Councilors Wayne Cole and Bob Olmstead expressed their frustration with the fact that an emergency council meeting had not been convened to deal with the construction of a cabin on the road allowance at the Robertsville mine.

The cabin was constructed by members of the Ardoch Algonquin First Nation in the days following their decision to vacate the Robertsville mine site. In addition to the cabin, there is a tent trailer on the site, as well as a large construction trailer.

Mayor Ron Maguire made a verbal report to council in which he outlined the actions he had taken on the matter.

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“I learned about it when I received a phone call from Art Cota last Wednesday [Oct. 17] asking me if the township was thinking about tearing down the structure,” Maguire told Council. Maguire was occupied with his duties as Frontenac County Warden on that day, and he told Council that under normal circumstances “this would have been dealt with as an administrative matter, but given the volatility of the situation I contacted our lawyer and bylaw officer myself.”

Council was informed of the circumstances by email late in the week and it was eventually determined that the bylaw officer would deliver an order to vacate the township property. The request was undated, which is different than is normal in such cases, where five days are given.

“We are acting on the matter, as we should,” Maguire said. “It is my impression that since the OPP did not enforce a court order to remove protesters from the mine site itself, they would not enforce an order to remove structures from the side of the road. An order to remove will be issued today [Oct. 25], for township liability issues, but the enforcement will not take place at this time.”

“Council should be included,” said Councilor Wayne Cole.

“I think they should have been allowed two days' grace,” said Councilor Bob Olmstead. “I have to agree with Councilor Cole that a meeting should have been called.”

“How would you have handled it differently,” Councilor Fred Perry asked Bob Olmstead.

“I'd have called a special meeting,” Olmstead answered.

“Then?”

“Bylaw enforcement, OPP. I'm saying it should have been a full Council decision, and it should have been acted upon smartly,” Olmstead said.

“My reason for acting was to deliver the message that the township would not be liable, and in retrospect I wouldn't have acted any differently than I did,” said Mayor Maguire.

Hydro Lane ATV problem This past summer the residents of Hydro Lane, a Crown Land road that is no longer covered in a maintenance agreement between North Frontenac Township and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), asked the township if they could use some gravel that has been piled near the road for a number of years to improve the road.

The residents were committed to paying a contractor to spread the gravel and the township decided to allow the gravel to be used.

The work was subsequently done, but at last week's North Frontenac Council meeting Deputy Mayor Jim Beam reported that he has been informed by Hydro Lane resident Bob Buskie that over the Thanksgiving weekend the road had been heavily run by ATVs, and was now full of ruts. He said the gravel is mostly gone.

“The responsibility, because it is Crown Land, falls to the MNR. That being said, the taxpayers on that road pay maybe $100,000 in municipal taxes,” said Deputy Mayor Jim Beam.

“If we start doing work on that road, are we going to do other roads?” asked Councilor Wayne Good.

“The first thing might be to pass a motion to let the MNR know about the problems that have arisen, and that they have abdicated their responsibility for that road,” said Mayor Ron Maguire, “but underlying this issue is the damage that ATVs have been doing to local roads.”

Councilor Fred Perry looked at the issue differently.

“ATVs are a problem, but the people knew they were on Crown Land when they bought their property. About 75% of the properties sold on those Crown roads were originally sold as water access only,” he said.

Tappin’s Bay – Councilor Fred Perry, who in the past chaired a township task force that worked on a plan to repair the boat launch at Tappin's Bay on Mazinaw Lake near Cloyne, proposed that the township refrain from asking Addigton Highlands Township to pay for half of this year's maintenance bill of $434.50 for Tappin's Bay. The bill covers hydro costs, minor dock repairs, and snow-plowing.

“The point is, it's been very easy for Addington Highlands to say 'well, we continue to support Tappin's Bay’. It's time they did something about boat access in Addington Highlands, because Tappin’s Bay has become more of a parking lot than a boat launch,” Perry said.

Many of the properties on Mazinaw Lake are located in Addington Highlands (AH), and there is no public boat launch on the portion of the lake that is located in AH.

A proposal to establish a boat launch was brought to AH Council this past summer, but has been stalled because of the concerns raised by a neighbouring property owner who would be affected.

North Frontenac Council decided to pay the entire maintenance bill and encourage Addington Highlands to establish their own boat launch.

JEPP Grant application – Township Fire Chief Steve Riddell sent a letter requesting that council select some specific projects for a grant application from the Federal Joint Emergency Preparedness Program, which pays 50% of the cost for approved expenditures.

He suggested making a generator to power the present Township Administration building and the Fire Hall Evacuation Centre. Secondly, he suggested applying for funds to replace the current Base radios in the three township fire halls, which would cost $850.

If the township receives one of the grants, there will be budgetary implications for the township portion of the projects.

Fire Chief Riddell's proposals were accepted.

Lions want to collect glass from waste sites – James Wilson, from the Land O' Lakes Lions Club, wrote a letter to council, requesting permission to gather returnable glass wine, liquor, and beer bottles from the dump site in order to return them for refund. All monies would be used to fund Lions' projects.

Township Clerk/Planner Brenda DeFosse said, “It's a great idea, but it comes down to allowing people to come in to our waste sites, and it becomes a liability issue.”

“I'm in favour of it, it's a way to divert from landfill,” said Wayne Good.

“We'll have to look into the insurance issue, and check our certificate of approval for the waste site as well,” said Chief Administrative Officer Cheryl Robson.

The matter was deferred.

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