| Nov 13, 2008

Nov 13/08 - CF Council

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Feature Article - November 13, 2008 Central Frontenac Council – Nov 10/08By Jeff Green

MPAC presentation – Bev Disney from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation made a comprehensive presentation on the new property assessment notices that have been sent out to Central Frontenac residents over the past three weeks.

Highlights of the changed assessment regime include a four-year phase in of assessment increases so property owners will not face large increases in property taxes all at once, as well as an enhanced, interactive website.

Information relevant to individual assessments is available using unique key codes that are included in the assessment notices.

It is also now possible to file a request for reconsideration of an assessment online.

Further information is available at MPAC.ca or by calling 1-866-296-6722.

First Impressions – Brian Ritchie, from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), made a presentation at the behest of Mayor Janet Gutowski about the First Impressions program. First Impressions involves arranging “secret shopper” style visits between two communities that are of similar size and character. The findings are presented to each community by a team of First Impressions visitors.

Although Ritchie said First Impressions would probably best serve Sharbot Lake and perhaps one other community in Central Frontenac, it is something that Central Frontenac Council may consider doing in 2009.

“One of the key things is finding a co-ordinator,” said Ritchie, “because that person could have to put in a total of five full days all told. But First Impressions is cheap,” Ritchie said,” and it could generate lots of energy in your community.”

Verona and Sydenham both participated in First Impressions this past summer.

Road 38 maintenance contract – Public Works Manager John Simcock received leave to put out a tender for contracting out winter maintenance on Road 38, which has been done in-house for many years.

Council agreed that if the price were lower or equal to what the township is paying to do the work, it would grant the tender.

Four companies answered the call, and each bid on a cost per hour of work basis. The bids were: Wills Construction, $258/hr, Cruickshank, $235/hr, Jim England $152/hr, and Scott’s Snowplowing (Dennis and Jill) $129/hr.

Simcock said his estimate of the cost to the township running their own truck is about $123, not including fuel, maintenance, training, and insurance costs, which would bring the cost up to $145 to $150 per hour.

“Would there really be extra insurance costs?” asked Councilor Norm Guntensperger, “don't we pay a fixed rate for insurance?”

“You have to remember that we are planning to use all of our trucks for the ten snow routes we've set up,” said Councilor Jeff Matson, “so we would be looking at buying a new truck if we don't go for this.”

“We said if it costs the same or less than what we are paying, we'd try it,” said Councilor Frances Smith. “So let's accept this tender from Scott’s.”

Council accepted the bid from Scott’s, and the contract will run for two years.

One December meeting – If there are no urgent matters, Council will meet once in December, on the 8th at Mountain Grove. The meeting will start early, at 5:30, to allow for a 90-minute presentation from the public works manager of a roads capital report and long-term plan. The fire chief is also scheduled to present a fire master plan at that same meeting.

Township Office closing – The township office will close at 4:30 pm on December 23, and will not re-open until Monday, January 5 at 8:30am (barring any unforeseen ice storms, that is) in line with the practice of previous years.

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