| Sep 04, 2008

Sept 4, 2008 - AH Council

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Feature Article - September 4, 2008 Addington Highlands Council -Sept 2/08By Jule Koch Brison

Property issues create roadblock for Flinton Bridge

Last fall the Flinton bridge, which is located on the Deer Rock Lake Road, was found to have serious problems and was closed. An alternate route allows access to the Deer Rock Lake Road but a new bridge has not yet been built.

At Tuesday’s council meeting in Flinton, Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch said, “People are upset and wondering when we’re going to get at it… they don’t want to have to go through another year.”

Reeve Henry Hogg explained that the delay is caused by the fact that the property beside the bridge is not crown land, as was the case when the township recently built a new Hartsmere bridge, but is privately owned.

He said, “I’ve met with the property owner to try to work out the property issues... It is a difficult situation to try to resolve”. Hogg said that the township had hoped to build a two-lane bridge, but the property issues seem to preclude that option

The township has directed Jewell Engineering, the company that built the Hartsmere Bridge, to develop options for the bridge. An environmental assessment will have to be done and public meetings will be held in the fall.

SHELDRAKE LAKE RFP: The Sheldrake Development Committee, was recently struck in the Skootamatta District Ratepayers Association (SDRA) because of concerns over a Request for Proposal (RPF) regarding 20 acres of crown land off Sheldrake Lake Road. A delegation from the committee, consisting of Bill Garnish, Laurie Hitchcock, and Derek Mendham, attended the council meeting. “We’re not against development per se,” said Bill Garnish, “we want to be part of the decision making”.

Several years ago the township started to investigate whether it would be feasible for a developer to build a four-season resort in Addington Highlands. Several sites were looked at, but much of the crown land in AH falls within the Algonquin Land Claim territory.

In consultation with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the township eventually found a 77 acre piece of Crown land on Sheldrake Lake, outside of claim territory, that was made available for development, and this April an RPF was posted on the Lennox and Addington County website.

The original 77 acres has since been dropped to 20 acres because the MNR only intended to lease part of it, and it was difficult to interest anyone in developing property that they would not own.

Presently, an appraiser has been hired by the MNR to set a value for the property.

Deputy Reeve Yanch invited the Sheldrake Development Committee to have a member sit on the Addington Highlands Economic Advisory Development (AHEAD) Committee, and the delegation agreed to look into the possibility.

NORTHBROOK SKATEPARK: The township presently leases the land on which the Northbrook skatepark sits from the Land o’ Lakes Lions, but the organization has asked the township to take over ownership of the property because of insurance concerns. The township already bears all the liability from the skatepark.

Council decided to refer the request to the Rec Committee for discussion with the Lions.

OPP REPORT: Detachment Commander Pat Finnegan and Sgt. Greg MacLellan presented their report for May, June and July 2008. The good news was that calls for service were down, which Det. Commander Finnegan said is part of an overall 3-year trend.

One major issue is emerging problems with ATVs.

Police have received numerous complaints, and Sgt. MacLellan said that documentation, e.g. proper insurance and licences, has not been found to be the problem; the problems are: too many people on the machines, letting children operate adult ATVs (sometimes with only bike helmets on), drinking and driving, and having open liquor. He also pointed out that there are many law-abiding ATV operators.

Councilor Louise Scott said, “Whenever I see ATVs there are always two people on them.”

Deputy Reeve Yanch said she doesn’t complain because she feels it wouldn’t help.

Det. Commander Finnegan said, “Don’t be afraid to complain.” He also said that the problems are developing everywhere in Ontario as municipalities “are persuaded and allow ATV use on their roads”.

Councilor Janice Kerr also questioned the officers about an incident in Denbigh that she had heard about, which she described as “serious”. She said that a woman had called police about two men who were revving chainsaws by her building and threatening to burn things down, but was told by the dispatcher that there was only one officer in the area and he was not available.

Det. Commander Finnegan said he would investigate what had gone wrong. He said that for a serious incident such as Kerr described, “We would never just say, ‘there’s no one available’. We would bring in people from other detachments if we needed to…. We would always find a way no matter how busy we are.”

CLOYNE 150 YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Council approved funding of $500 for the Cloyne Historical Society’s celebration of the 150 year anniversary of the village of Cloyne, to be held in August 2009.

ST. PAUL’S CHURCH: Council agreed to waive a $200 tipping fee for disposing of insulation that had to be removed from the basement of St. Paul’s Church because of flooding. The church said that the flooding was caused by road work, which council determined was done by the county. Council will take up the matter with the county.

BELL LINES CAUSE PROBLEMS; Roads Supervisor Royce Rosenblath reported that because of problems locating Bell Telephone lines, construction that they’ve started in Northbrook has become a “real nightmare”. He said they’ve found lines “strung along roads … within 3 inches of the pavement .. there’s no logic to it.”. He said that paying to locate the lines has become an added expense and in some places they won’t be able to do proper ditches because of the lines.

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