| Mar 29, 2007


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Feature Article - March 29, 2007

Addington Highlands, Frontenac County win the latest provincial grant sweepstakesby Jeff Green

It was with a sense of frustration that Addington Highlands Council applied to the most recent provincial infrastructure granting program, the Rural Infrastructure Investment Initiative (RIII), seeking support for a construction project on the Skootamatta Lake/Hughes Landing Road. After all, the township had applied for funding for the road project to the COMRIF (Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund) program on three separate occasions with no luck.

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The RIII was announced in January; the application period was very short, and the province wanted construction-ready projects. Back in January, Addington Highlands Council was torn as to whether to submit the Skootamatta Lake Road application for the fourth time, or to apply for necessary repairs to the Hartsmere Road bridge. It was expected that the province would be more likely to be concerned about crumbling bridges than dangerous roads. “Roads don’t fail in the same way that bridges do,” Addington Highlands Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath said at the time.

In the end, the road project was chosen, and that decision looks pretty good now, since the project will be funded to the tune of $900,000 by the province.

When contacted, a happy Reeve Henry Hogg said that the township would be attempting to use as much local labour as possible in completing the project.

“I don’t know if it made any difference,” he added, “but I was able to meet with some senior politicians during the Good Roads Conference in Toronto, and I impressed on them how much we need help with our infrastructure, especially with the amount of Crown Land we have that generates no revenue for us. This is a big project for us; $900,000 represents about a third of our entire budget. It would take us years to do a project like this from our own revenue.”

Frontenac County gets $289,000 for K&P Trail

The long dormant K&P trail initiative has received another shot in the arm with an RII grant of $289,000 to the County of Frontenac. The grant will go towards the acquisition of and upgrades to the former K&P rail line that runs through South and Central Frontenac for the purposes of establishing a trail linking the Trans Canada and Cataraqui Trail systems.

The initiative was spearheaded by South Frontenac Township, which has budgeted $110,000 towards the purchase of the potion of the line that runs between the City of Kingston to the south, and Central Frontenac to the North.

“The idea was brought to a county-wide Chief Administrative Officer Meeting,” recalls Frontenac County Manager for Economic Development Dianna Bratina, “and it was thought that it was something that could be applied for as a county, since it involves more than one township and the county often cannot apply for infrastructure money because we don’t have landfill sites or roads and bridges as county assets. We put this through under economic development and recreation, and have received the grant.”

The next step, according to Gord Burns, will be to approach Central Frontenac Council to see if they want to join in and work towards a purchase of the line running from Piccadilly to Sharbot Lake.

There are still significant complications to the K&P trail initiative. Two bridges in the South Frontenac portion of the trail need replacing, and a few pieces of the track bed in the Central Frontenac portion are in private hands. The trail may have to be diverted in those instances.

A recent change to the provincial Line Fences Act has rejuvenated trail initiatives however, limiting potential fencing costs to townships that purchase abandoned rail lines.

Gord Burns said that South Frontenac’s long-term plan is to turn the management of their portion of the trail over to the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.

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