Jeff Green | Nov 06, 2008
Nov 6/08 - AH Council
Back toHomeFeature Article - November 6, 2008 Addington Highlands CouncilBy Jeff Green
Helping Winnie Gutsell
Winnie Gutsell is an 91-year-old resident of Addington Highlands. She has lived in a house on Hwy. 41 north of Kaladar for the past 30 years, and during that time she has put several additions onto her house.
As part of a township clean up initiative, a couple of years ago the township Winnie Gutsell received a letter on April 13, 2007 from Township Clerk Jack Pauhl, asking her to clean up her property.
The letter states:
“It has come to the township council's attention that some concerns have been expressed concerning the general upkeep and decorum of your property especially the original portion of your dwelling. The township economic development committee has been encouraging persons to beautify their property, for which a prize will be given annually. Would you kindly indicate if you are prepared to take measures to restore your dwelling unit in order that it should have a greater visual appeal to the public. Kindly advise within the next two weeks by contacting the undersigned or the Reeve.”
“I was very upset when the letter came.” Winnie recalled, “and I did talk to Reeve Hogg about it. He told me not to worry about it, just to ignore it.”
She took ill soon after, but this summer she decided that the best thing to do would be to remove the original house from the additions and leave the additions in place.Her decision last month to remove the old house had little or nothing to do with the letter from last year. An opportunity merely arose to have the old house, which was not usable, removed,
Andy Anderson, her neighbour and friend, helped her to get a demolition permit, and asked the township to waive dumping fees for the material that came from the building. The township agreed to this.
Gutsell had been led to believe that the newer building was not attached to the original one. Unfortunately, the original building was tied into the additions, and when it was removed, it left an odd-looking structure, but more importantly the roof came off. This left Winnie Gutsell, and her son, who has a disability, with a tarp for a roof and winter coming on.
Andy Anderson came to Addington Highlands Council on Monday afternoon to ask for help for his friend in her hour of need.
“We don't have any kind of budget for social housing,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.
“Didn't they download social housing?” asked Anderson.
“They did,” Hogg said, “but it is a county responsibility. The contact there is Elo Shepherd. You can call him or I can,” Hogg replied.
When contacted on Tuesday, Andy Anderson said he was able to talk with Elo Shepherd on Monday afternoon, and Shepherd told him that he would have someone have a look at the house this week.
“He also said I could get quotes for the work and he would work on getting money together to pay for it. He has some provincial money he can use, apparently,” said Anderson.
It will be difficult to get anyone to look at the job this week, however, according to Andy Anderson, because a lot of contractors are away hunting, but he is hopeful that he will get estimates by the end of the week.
Other items from AH Council
Tenders have been set out for the Flinton bridge, and the township is seeking two prices, one for completion before April 1, 2009 and the other for completion on September 15, 2009.
“We'll see what the price difference is for it to be done during the winter, and then we'll decide what to do,” said Roads Supervisor Royce Rosenblath.
Herons in the way of Hwy. 7 plan: Bob O'Dare, a bird watching enthusiast who lives in Flinton, has informed the Ministry of Natural Resources, (MNR) that the long-range plan for changes to the Hwys. 7 and 41 intersection involve destroying a large heronry that is located on a swamp just south of Hwy. 7. He said that the MNR told him they would look into it.