| Dec 04, 2008

Dec 4/08 - AH Council

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Feature Article - December 4, 2008 Addington Highlands Council -Dec. 2/08By Jule Koch Brison

Don’t shoot the snowplow driver

“We need to remind people that the snow’s got to go where the snow’s got to go,” Addington Highlands Roads Supervisor Royce Rosenblath told council at the Dec. 2 meeting in Flinton. He was referring to phone calls complaining that the snowplow had deposited snow in driveways. “We don’t intentionally set out to block people’s driveways” he said, “but we have to clear the snow”.

He asked council to come up with a policy, and place an ad or create a form letter. The councilors could not immediately come up with an appropriate wording, but agreed to implement Rosenblath’s request.

OPP Report: OPP Detachment Commander Pat Finnegan and Det. Sgt. Wayne Allen of the Criminal Investigation Unit presented a report to council. Inspector Finnegan said that overall, calls for service in the detachment are down.

He addressed two issues that had been brought up during his September 2 visit to council. At that time Councilor Janice Kerr told the officers about “serious incidents” in Denbigh, which had not been responded to by police.

Since then the OPP has held a town hall meeting in Denbigh and Finnegan called the breakdown in service a “shared responsibility”. He said that calls could have been responded to better but that they weren’t always made in a way that communicated how serious they were.

He said it “basically came down to two individuals terrorizing a small community”. They have since been arrested.

He said it had been a problem trying to convince people to stand together - calls were anonymous or people were unwilling to provide statements, but, “When we stepped up the community stepped up. We need the help and support of the citizens .. It’s been a learning experience for everyone involved”.

Another issue was problems with ATVs; however, Finnegan said that in consultations with the community, people did not feel that ATVs were a problem and did not want trail patrols.

The OPP have also investigated complaints that a school bus had repeatedly encountered problems with speeding vehicles on Hwy 41. Inspector Finnegan reported that police had patrolled the specific area several times, “We’ve made a concerted effort to address the complaint but have not observed an excessive amount of speeding”.

However, there is a certain curve on Hwy 41, where it is difficult to see a stopped school bus in good time. The Ministry of Transportation has put up a sign, which Finnegan said should help. They will also look into changing the location of the stop.

Royce Rosenblath raised another issue with the officers. He said he has received dozens of calls from the OPP Communications Centre about problems outside of Addington Highlands. “One night I received a call about an icy road on County Road 11 in Selby…where would they get the idea that was in Addington Highlands?” he asked.

Finnegan replied, “Nobody would argue that local dispatching is better – central dispatching is a problem”. He said police are often frustrated by the problems caused by central dispatching but “it all comes down to money – the government has made those decisions”.

Rosenblath seemed frustrated himself – “But how do we fix the problem?” he asked.

Finnegan said he would consult with the commander of the communications centre in Smiths Falls. Det. Sgt. Allen added that the communications centre jobs are high stress and have a fairly high turnover.

AFARRadio: Hali Foster of the AFAR (Addington Frontenac Area Radio) committee, brought incorporation documents for council to approve. She pointed out that if AFAR were to dissolve, its assets would revert to the township. Presently anyone donating to AFAR is able to receive a tax receipt from the township, but that would change after AFAR incorporates as it does not have charitable status yet. She also asked if the township could continue to cover the board of directors through its insurance.

Township Clerk Jack Pauhl said they would have to consult with the township’s solicitor, but he didn’t think the township could insure the board. “When you incorporate you become self-sufficient; the umbilical cord is cut”, he said.

Council approved the documents.

The Skootamatta District Ratepayers Association (SDRA) asked council to investigate their concerns about the Cloyne waste site hours being reduced on Sundays by North Frontenac Council. Royce Rosenblath said he believed that North Frontenac had a report that Sunday visits to the waste site had dropped. AH will investigate before responding.

The SDRA also asked council to plow the Skootmatta Lake landing parking lot. Rosenblath said that plowing the lot was not a problem if it is empty, but if cars “plug up the lot” it can’t be plowed. Council will communicate this to the SDRA.

Jack Pauhl informed council that municipalities are encountering problems with recyclables since the prices have dropped because of the economic situation. For example, newspaper has dropped from $50/ton to $10/ton.

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