| Sep 18, 2008

Sept 18/08 - SF Council

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Feature Article - September 18, 2008 South Frontenac CouncilBy Wilma Kenny

MPAC’s New Assessment Process

Lyndon Johnston, a representative of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, presented a 2008 assessment update to Council on Tuesday night (September 16).

MPAC is the independent body which assesses properties, establishing the value which will be used by municipalities to determine annual property taxes. Following intense consumer dissatisfaction with MPAC in the past, the ‘new’ system has been designed with a strong focus on service and customer satisfaction.

Mr Johnston stated that the 12,500 assessment notices that will be delivered in South Frontenac around October 20 will cover a four-year cycle beginning January 09, and be based on a January 08 valuation date. While any decreases in property value will be implemented immediately, increases will be phased in equally over the next four years.

The assessment notices will be accompanied by several information sheets, with details about how the assessment was arrived at and clear information about the appeal processes. Also included will be a history of appeals, and resultant decisions. In the case of a request for reconsideration, the onus will be on MPAC to prove the assessment fairly represents the value of a property on the open market.

Previously, it was up to the property owner to provide proof to support his claim of an inappropriate assessment. Property owners will have a wider range of options for contacting MPAC for information. Council had no questions for Mr Johnston.

Proposed Enlargement of CRCA Jurisdiction

The Council of the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands has passed a resolution calling for the enlargement of the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority to include the offshore area on the St Lawrence River from the mainland to the international border, which falls within that township’s bounds.

This would help coordinate service related to land use planning, fish habitat and development regulation. As most work is done on a fee-for-service basis, it is not anticipated that there will be any additional costs associated with the expansion. Councillors Hahn and McPhail will represent South Frontenac in the discussion of this proposal.

Proposed Study of Point Park Landfill Site in Sydenham

Rob McRae, manager for the Source Water Protection project, has proposed requesting funding from the Ministry of the Environment for an investigation of the old landfill at the western end of Sydenham Lake.

The three goals of the project would be to: (1) confirm the presence/absence and approximate extent of a landfill in Sydenham, (2) characterize the contents of any waste on the site, and (3) characterize the environmental effects of the landfill, if one exists, on surrounding lands and waters. Council agreed to the resolution of support necessary for the application to go forward.

New Website for South Frontenac

CAO Gord Burns thanked Angela Maddocks for her work in putting together a new website for the township, using a format based on one designed for the County. Residents are encouraged to visit the site at www.township.southfrontenac.on.ca and provide feedback on information items they would like to have added.

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