| Feb 15, 2007

Feature Article - February 15, 2007

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Feature Article - February 15, 2007

Snyder gets close, but no Oak Flats roadwork yetby Jeff Green

Central Frontenac Councilor Bill Snyder has expressed many opinions in the past nine years, but if there is one issue he has been identified with, it is the Oak Flats Road.

In the year before municipal amalgamation, Snyder was a member of the Hinchinbrooke Township Council that initiated improvements to the Oak Flats Road, improvements that were slated for completion the next year. With amalgamation, the concerns of four former townships were integrated into one roads budget, and the Oak Flats Road repair never reached the priority level it had back in Hinchinbrooke days.

Year after year, Bill Snyder has asked that the road be considered for construction work, and each year it has been left off the list. Not content to wait once again for the roads budget to be discussed, Snyder put forward a motion at Monday night’s council meeting, asking that necessary repairs be done to the road this year, and that it be paved in 2008.


Councilor Frances Smith immediately moved that the motion be tabled to budget discussions. The motion to table was defeated, and a debate ensued

Frances Smith said that it is not a good idea to make a “commitment to this one road, which has been costed out at $185,000, before looking at the budget. I think it would be foolhardy to do this at this time.”

Bill Snyder, his voice hoarse from a case of pneumonia that he is fighting, said, “The budget comes down in one big lump and we don’t get a chance to say anything about it. And the same old s--- comes out. I’m sick of it.”

Mayor Janet Gutowski, who during the recent election expressed support for doing work on the Oak Flats Road, said “I have to say that to approve road construction, pre-budget, would not be responsible of council. I have also been unhappy with the budget process in the past, and I am committed to doing things differently this year. It’s probably going to be supported when we do the budget, I can guarantee that.”

Councilor Snyder asked for a recorded vote on the motion. Gary Smith said he would abstain, but was informed an abstention is in effect a no vote, because a majority of members present are required for a motion to pass. In all, four councillors; Snyder, Philip Smith, John Purdon and Norm Guntensperger, supported the motion. Councillors Frances Smith, Bob Harvey, Jeff Matson, Gary Smith, and Mayor Gutowski all voted against the motion and it was defeated.

Contacted the following day, a defiant Bill Snyder said he was not about to give up trying to convince council to repair the Oak Flats road.

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