| Apr 19, 2007

Feature Article - April 12, 2007.class { BORDER-RIGHT: black 1pt solid; BORDER-TOP: #000 1pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: black 1pt solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: black 1pt solid } .class1 { BORDER-RIGHT: #9f5128 1pt solid; BORDER-TOP: #9f5128 1pt solid; BORDER-LEFT: #9f5128 1pt solid; BORDER-BOTTOM: #9f5128 1pt solid } .class2 { FONT-SIZE: 8pt; COLOR: #666 }

Back toHome

Feature Article - April 12, 2007

South Frontenac Council

by Wilma Kenny

Property Standards By-law Enforcement


There was a lively discussion about the policy regarding property standards enforcement: at present complaints regarding property standards issues must be submitted in writing and signed by the complainants, before the township by-law enforcement officer investigates a situation. Councilors Stowe and Hahn were concerned that people don’t report possible violations because they fear retribution. CAO Burns said that this has always been a contentious issue. In theory, the by-law is intended to ensure that residents keep their properties in reasonable condition for health, safety and aesthetic reasons, so that they will not annoy their neighbours or devalue neighbouring properties. Once the by-law officer follows up on a complaint, the property owner is usually given 30 days to clean up the problem; possibly longer, depending on the situation. Burns said that if the by-law officer was instructed to actively look for violations, the cost of enforcement would escalate dramatically, and the township would be perceived as being overly aggressive. Council voted to retain the policy of having complaints regarding property standards issues be signed by the complainant prior to enforcement.

"I use my cars for storage, and some of them have chickens in them. And I like the looks of them," commented Councilor Fillion.

Parks Maintenance Contracts

Percy Snider, as low bidder of three tenders, was awarded the 2007/8 contract for cutting the Loughborough parks’ grass. On the cemetery board’s recommendation, Mr Snider was also awarded a two-year contract as caretaker of Sydenham cemetery. He was considered a ‘preferred supplier’ because he already has the necessary experience, and knows the layout of the cemetery.

STAFF ADDITIONS: Council agreed to hire a full-time Technical Assistant for the Roads Department, but decided not to create a full-time position for a third Building Inspector. They approved a one-year contract building inspector position. Councillor Fillion suggested that the township was headed for a downturn in housing, but the CAO pointed out that as of March, housing starts in the township were up over last year. In a close vote, that mirrored the results of a straw vote at a Committee of the Whole meeting a week earlier, Council decided to retain their contract with the KFL&A Health Unit to conduct inspections for sewage systems. There did not appear to be any cost advantage or saving of time to have the township staff take on this responsibility. Councillors York, Fillion, Robinson and Hicks voted against the resolution.

SALE OF SURPLUS LUMBER: The lumber left in the Fermoy Hall several years ago has been sold to the only bidder, Mr Rejean Leroux, for $1150.

NORTH FRONTENAC COMMUNITY ARENA FINANCING Council discussed a request to finance the arena building project over a 3-5 year period. They decided that while they agreed with the project in principle, they needed to see a detailed business plan before they could enter into a capital loan agreement with the arena. Currently, the arena has $385,000 pledged or raised over a 5-year period.

PRE-AMALGAMATION BORROWING: In response to a request from Councilor Fillion, Treasurer Deb Backen prepared a report into whether monies that Fillion claimed had been lent to Bedford and Loughborough Districts from Portland and Storrington Districts at amalgamation had ever been paid back.

Deb Bracken’s report stated, in part, "This will confirm that Portland Township ‘lent’ funds to Bedford and Loughborough near the end of 1997. The financial statements for Portland showed the amounts under investments...Interest was paid at the same rate as bank interest...It was understood by all parties that all bank accounts would fall under South Frontenac on January 1, 1998, and the loans would be balanced out at that point with no further interest."

There was no record of Storrington lending any money to Loughborough.

CAO Burns said he couldn’t imagine any amalgamation in the province would have had all parties bringing the same amount of money to the table. He also suggested that Council could make better use of staff time if they didn’t spend it revisiting issues that were resolved nine years ago.

Other Stories this Week View RSS feed

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.