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Feature Article - 31, 2007

NorthFrontenac CouncilReport

by Jeff Green

MURAL PROPOSED FOR SNOW ROAD FIRE HALL Rodger MacMunn brought his dream of bringing murals to the locations of former train stations of the K&P rail line to North Frontenac Council last week.

MacMunn has spearheaded several murals in Central Frontenac over the last couple of years, including two for Sharbot Lake, one at Good’s Store in Parham and one in the Piccadilly area. He outlined his overall goals for the project in a written submission, entitled “The Dream”.

In it, MacMunn talks about plans to put up murals along the K&P line from Kingston northwards, making up a self-guided driving tour of the K&P.

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“There’s a wonderful wall [on the new fire hall] just waiting for a mural,” McMunn wrote. “Snow Road was, for a time, the biggest shipping point for maple syrup in the Dominion of Canada. As well, there is a spot for smaller murals, perhaps a replicated poster from yesteryear. Since this would be the end of the tour, there needs to be more than one mural here. Just north of Snow Road, the K&P entered Lanark County; it becomes difficult to follow on township roads, and our road tour ends.”

In presenting a maquette of the proposed design of the Snow Road mural, Rodger MacMunn pointed out that all the murals that have been produced thus far have been done with fundraised dollars. “No tax dollars have gone into this so far, and I don’t suppose any should. If North Frontenac would like to take this on, it means taking on fundraising, or seeking grants.”

He estimated the cost of the project at $28,000.

Later in the meeting, the township’s recreation co-ordinator, Roger Miller, sought direction from council on whether to pursue a Trillium grant, as the next deadline, July 1, is approaching. Council decided that Milller should shop the idea of a mural project to the Trillium staff in order to determine if applying for a grant this time around is a viable option.

Miller will report back to council.

SKOOTAMATTA LAKE ROAD A letter came from Addington Highlands (AH) Reeve Henry Hogg regarding the Skootamatta Road upgrade project, for which AH has recently received a substantial grant.

Given that the road in question is a boundary road, Hogg’s letter said AH is soliciting “your municipality’s input with respect to the reconstruction project.” The letter concluded by asking if North Frontenac was willing to “have a joint meeting to discuss any aspect of the project.”

Interpreting the letter as an invitation to invest money into the project, Mayor Maguire said, “We don’t have anything budgeted for this.” Public Works manager John Ibey pointed out that North Frontenac “spent $15,000 to reconstruct what we call Hill 19 on that road.”

Although council expressed reluctance to be involved in the road project, the idea of a joint meeting with AH Council was well received and staff was directed to contact AH staff in order to set one up.

ROAD REQUESTS - Residents who live off of Helen Lane on Big Gull Lake, and Hydro Lane into Mosque Lake Road both sent letters to council asking for road maintenance on their roads. In both cases the roads are on Crown land, and are not part of the township’s normal road maintenance schedule.

Helen Lane, which serves 11 cottagers near the Holiday Haven Resort, is covered by a land use permit between the residents and the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Keith Rowe, the so-called road manager for Helen Lane, requested that the township do some grading and remove some rock in order to improve the road.

In response, Mayor Ron Maguire pointed out that the township does not have responsibility over Helen Lane, which is on Crown land.

“We have a land use permit for the boat launch at the end of the road,” said Councilor Wayne Cole.

“But not for the road,” said Maguire.

It turns out that the township is responsible for the maintenance of 21 boat launches on Crown land through land use permits, but not the roads that lead into the boat launches. “If we do work on this road, we’ll have to do work on the other 20,” Maguire said.

The residents who live on Hydro Lane, on Mosque Lake, were living on a road that was nominally maintained under the township’s Crown land Stewardship Program - that is, until the road was removed from the program this past winter. Recreation Co-ordinator Roger Miller explained that it was determined that access to the lake and an adjacent lake did not require this road be maintained and it was dropped from the program.

Ruth Weindorff, a resident of Hydro Lane who was in attendance, said she had been told by an MNR official that the residents who live on the road should get together and pay for maintenance. “We don’t live on a private road,” Weindorf said, “ and we don’t have a land use permit for the road. It is the MNR’s road to maintain, and the township shouldn’t walk away from their own land use permit and leave us with no maintenance.”

Council made no commitments to the requests.

ROAD CONSTRUCTION BUDGET Details concerning how the $200,000 road construction budget will be spent were released.

Paving was proposed for 2.2 kilometres on the Matawatchan Road, 2.7 km on Kashwakamak Lake Road, 1km on Myers Cave Road, 1 km on Head Road, 4km on Ardoch Road, 2 km on Mountain Road, 1.8 km. on Arcol Road, and 1km on Smith Road. Paving costs were estimated at $10,000 per kilometre

In other road construction work: $6,500 in repairs were proposed on the Ardoch Road,;$4,500 for ditching, breaking rock, and gravel on the Shabomeka Road; $17,000 for ditching and gravel on the River Road; $5,000 for ditching and realignment on Whites Road; $2,000 for repairs to the Mountain Road; and $5,000 for ditching and gravel on the Arcol Road.

Council accepted the proposed projects.

MINISTRY WARNS AGAINST COMMERCIAL PERMIT HOLIDAY In response to a request from Steve Smart of Smart’s Marina, township staff investigated the idea of freezing property assessment for a period of time and setting up a building permit holiday for commercial enterprises that want to renovate and expand their operations.

As the mayor had expected, freezing property assessments is not within the jurisdiction of the township since assessments are determined by an outside corporation.

Clerk/Planner Brenda DeFosse said that she had contacted the Ministry of Municpal Affairs and Housing who told her they “did not recommend waiving building fees for one select classification of property, due to the fact that it is not supported by the Municipal Act, and that legal advice should be sought if being seriously considered.

“In fact, they warned us against it,” DeFosse added.

Council decided not to make any changes to their current policies.

“We still need to find some way to encourage commercial expansion,” lamented Mayor Maguire, “we can’t maintain this township on the backs of residential ratepayers forever.”

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