Jeff Green | Oct 11, 2007
Feature Article - October 11, 2007 Feature Article - October 11, 2007
Central Frontenac Council Contemplates Moveby Jeff Green
It took a lot of discussion, but Central Frontenac Council has agreed to hold one meeting in Arden and one meeting in Piccadilly next year.
Concerns about inconveniencing staff, the possibility that a meeting will not generate much interest among residents, an ill-fated proposal to make them “mixed meetings” to incorporate public input, and Mayor Gutowski exchanging seats with Deputy Mayor Bill Snyder in order, were all included in the discussion over moving the two meetings.
The proposal to break up the practice of holding meetings on the evening of the second Monday of each month in Mountain Grove, and the morning of the fourth Tuesday of each month in Sharbot Lake, was made by Hinchinbrooke Councillor Philip Smith in response to requests from some ratepayers.
Mayor Gutowski took the unusual step of abandoning her position as Chair for a few minutes in order to express the opinion that the township should be moving towards unity instead of divisiveness.
“Will this unite us as a community?” she asked of council.
Several councillors recommended that the township try the modest plan out for a year, and then revisit it.
Six councillors supported the proposal, Councillor Bob Harvey and Mayor Gutowski voted against, and Councillor Gary Smith expressed his opposition by not voting.
More bumps on County trail – Interim Clerk/Administrator John Duchene brought the draft terms of reference for a Frontenac County K&P trail planning committee which had been forwarded to him from the county’s Economic Development Officer Dianna Bratina.
The trail planning committee will be established “to draft the master plan for the trail system in the County of Frontenac for presentation to the public”. The county became directly involved in rail issues when it received an infrastructure grant that is being used to purchase the north-south K&P rail line, which runs from Kingston, through South Frontenac, and into Central Frontenac.
Council was uncomfortable with the committee as proposed, partly because it did not include any reference to the Eastern Ontario Trails Alliance, which runs east-west trails in Central Frontenac. Central Frontenac has also been reluctant to take on any responsibility for the K&P trail, which is being purchased by Frontenac County. The trail will remain in the county’s hands until such time as Central Frontenac decides to take it on.
John Duchene said he would express the township’s concerns at the next meetings he has with the other township administrators in Frontenac County.
Back roads on back burner – A staff report delineating 31 un-assumed public roads in the township, totalling 36 km in length and containing 470 properties, was presented to Council in line with a request for the information that was made in June.
The information was requested as part of council’s consideration of a request for financial support towards road maintenance from the Blue Heron Ridge Road Association.
None of the councillors were willing to support asking staff to move further on the issue, citing a decision by Tay Valley township not to fund a similar proposal.
Earlier in the meeting, Wayne Jackson had addressed Council as a delegate, and he complained bitterly about problems on his township maintained road, the Bell Line Road, which Council agreed needs more gravel and ditching work.
“We can’t seem to keep up with the roads we already have,” said Councillor Norman Guntensperger.
Michael Wise, who has been the prime mover in the push to receive some financial support for maintenance of un-assumed roads, was given leave to address Council briefly.
He pointed out that according to the criteria set out in the proposal he made last year, the roads on the list presented by staff would cost no mote than $28,300 and probably a lot less. He said he will provide more information at a future meeting.
Clean audit – Vicki Leakey from KPMG found no issues in the township’s accounting practices or financial position as the result of an audit of the 2006 books.
She said that the township is in good financial shape, based on the information she has received.
“It is good, very good,” she said. “Right now you have solid reserves.”
In 2009, all of the township’s infrastructure assets will be considered as part of the audit procedure, including township halls, equipment, fire stations, etc.
“It will be very interesting to see how maintenance on these assets and replacement costs will affect the township’s reserve position,” Leakey said.