| Sep 11, 2008

Sept 11, 2008 - CF Council

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Feature Article - September 11, 2008 Central Frontenac Council -Sept 8/08By Jule Koch Brison

CF Railway Museum gets new life from Council

Garry Giller, representing the board of directors of the Central Frontenac Railway Museum Committee, came to council seeking renewed support for the project, and left elated by what he received.

The committee was formed almost eight years ago to build a museum to house Gary Cooke’s extensive collection of railway memorabilia. The original plan was to build a replica of the old Sharbot Lake railway station. Over the years, the committee has come to believe that a museum by itself would not be viable unless it were combined with a multi-use building that could also meet the township’s need for more administrative space, house the library, and serve as a heritage/cultural centre.

In Giller’s submission to council, he wrote that if council were to withdraw its support, the committee would abandon the idea of building and continue to pursue the concept of a “Living Museum”, where parts of the collection are displayed in different locations.

Councilor Harvey said, “It all comes down to money. We’ll have staff working out of trailers, what’s our priority?”

The railway group has raised $10,000 and is prepared to do more fundraising, but would be unable to maintain a building. Council agreed that any building would have to be owned by the township.

Two issues that council addressed were the survey and acquisition of the original station site, which is a small triangle of land, and collaborating with the committee in building a multi-use building.

Councilor Bob Harvey told Giller that the county has undertaken a project with four other counties to purchase the old K&P line. “We’ve purchased it; we’ve paid the money but we have no deed for it yet.” He said that part of the original station site may be within the line, but “It would cost more to survey it [the line] than we paid for it”.

Gary Giller informed council that he has consulted with a surveyor, Dan Cormier, who “said that for $5,000 he could get it straightened out”.

Council had set aside $10,000 in their 2008 budget to pay for a survey for the railway museum project, so the $5,000 falls well within ght budget.

The other question is whether the township could acquire the site from CP Rail. Councilor Frances Smith pointed out that the ownership of the site is the fundamental issue that needs to be settled, “If the site’s not available we’ll look elsewhere,” she said. She then brought forward a motion to contact CP Rail to ascertain whether they would be willing to sever the site from the larger purchase. The motion passed unanimously.

Councilor Gary Smith said, “We should also examine the feasibility of a multi-use building in conjunction with the railway committee; it wouldn’t cost us anything except staff time”. He brought forward a motion to that effect, which passed with one dissenting vote, that of Councilor Harvey.

Mayor Janet Gutowski told Giller that his presentation was timely, in that the municipality is examining its own needs for space.

GIFT FOR DUCHENE Mayor Gutowski presented outgoing acting CAO John Duchene with a handmade canoe paddle. She said that after the new council was elected they had lost staff, and it was a “steep learning curve”. She said that Duchene had ensured that council “wasn’t up a creek without one of these”.

SPEED LIMIT SIGN: Ernest Barr brought a request that the township put up a speed limit sign on the Long Lake Road before the Mountain Grove sign. He said there used to be a sign there. Council agreed to his request and referred it to the Public Works Manager.

BROWN’S APPLICATION: Township Planner Glen Tunnock reported on several matters to council.

Tunnock recommended that a zoning bylaw to allow Doug Brown to sever a lot on St. Andrew Lake near Godfrey so that his sister can build a cottage, be adopted. The new lot would be a “water access lot”, to be accessed from a property on the north side of the lake. Councilor Bill Snyder objected on the basis that a permanent agreement to park a car for a boat launch to the new lot is illegal. Glen Tunnock replied, “I’m not a solicitor and can’t say whether it’s illegal; solicitors for both parties have looked at the agreement.” Council passed the bylaw.

BRIDGEN’S ISLAND: A bylaw to permit new development on 14 lots within a proposed plan of subdivision on Bridgen’s Island on Eagle Lake was tabled pending further advice from the planning department. The proposal is an attempt to take a 30-year-old co-operative arrangement between 14 lot owners on the island and give each of the lot owners a deed to their lot.

Since the applications were filed, Eagle Lake has been deemed a “highly sensitive trout lake”, severely limiting development. The township’s solicitor has indicated that the old rules would apply, but the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has stated that “…The creation of more than 10 lots would not meet the intent of the Township’s new Official Plan Policy”. Tunnock told council, “It would be imprudent to proceed with the zoning amendment. Nobody wants to go to the OMB [Ontario Municipal Board]. Hearings are expensive”.

Councilor John Purdon asked about the status of the application at the county level and was informed that it is stalled there as well.

ZONING BYLAW HARMONIZATION: Tunnock also reported on a public meeting that was held to investigate harmonizing zoning by-laws for waterfront development for six municipalities: Tay Valley, Drummond/North Elmsley, Lanark Highlands, Rideau Lakes, and South and Central Frontenac. The intent is to have municipalities adopt common planning regulatory approaches so that lakes that straddle two or more municipal boundaries are treated consistently. Tunnock said that Central Frontenac has higher standards than the other municipalities, and that council isn’t obliged to harmonize. Mayor Gutowski commented, “It’s excellent that municipalities are talking to their neighbours”.

COMPREHENSIVE ZONING BYLAW UPDATE: Since the township’s Official Plan has been updated, Tunnock urged Council to update its Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw within the next six months “so as not to have two documents out of sync for too long”. Public workshops and open houses would be held, but Councilor Frances Smith objected, saying “This is an aggressive schedule – we don’t want to be rushed.. I don’t like public open houses in December”.

Councilor Gary Smith suggested that the open houses be held before the public workshops so “If issues are grating on people’s minds they could bring them forward. We could get input early.”

OMB HEARINGS: No date has yet been set for a hearing on an issue that is presently before the OMB – a proposal by 1000 Islands Concrete to build a facility on Highway 7. The proposal had been approved by the township and the province but an individual appealed the decision to the OMB. Hearings on another issue before the OMB, the Garrison Lake subdivision, is set for Sept. 29 & 30.PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE: Mayor Gutowski and Councilor Gary Smith both complimented Public Works manager John Simcock on the Zealand and Second Depot Lake Roads, saying they have received many favourable comments about the work.

Gary Smith asked Simcock about letters to the editor in the Frontenac News complaining about damage to vehicles from tarring and chipping on Hwy 509. He said that speed limit signs were put up but they were stolen.

Simcock said that four trucks that are “beyond repairing” will be retired. Councilor Snyder pointed out that those trucks have sanders and asked how the roads would be kept up with four fewer sanders. Simcock indicated that the work would be done more efficiently and they would be able to reduce routes, also reducing wear and tear on the equipment. He said that taxpayers would not be waiting for service.

Simcock will be presenting a full roads plan later, which he said would give a better understanding of how the roads will be serviced.

Simcock mentioned that township employee Terry Goodenough is seriously ill and council expressed their support and concern for Terry and his family.

Councilor Snyder also asked about the grading of the roads in his vicinity and Simcock said they had been graded that day. Simcock said the problem is that the roads need more material and the correct mix of material. “Once they’re loaded properly you won’t have to grade every 20 days,” he said. Snyder said that there’s not enough material for all the roads. Simcock replied that that is true, but they would concentrate first on getting the primary roads in shape.

He invited the councilors to “put on hard hats and come down to the pit – what you’ll see is not what you’re used to.”

FIRE CHIEF UPDATE: Council agreed to support an application brought forward by Fire Chief Mark MacDonald to the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation for a $3,915 grant to erect a communications tower at the Piccadilly Fire Station. The fire department has a 96 ft tower that it is not using, and which it is contributing to the project.

ATV PURCHASE DENIED AGAIN: Mark MacDonald again raised the issue of the purchase of an ATV that would be used by both the roads and fire departments. The purchase was denied at the August 11 council meeting. Mayor Gutowski said that council was wondering why the request hadn’t come from the fire department. MacDonald said it was a joint venture between the public works and fire departments, which have been raising money for the purchase of the ATV through collecting and selling scrap metal. $12,000 has been raised so far. MacDonald said that it’s the firefighters who have been volunteering and driving the metal to Kimco to be sold.

He said that the packs that firefighters have to carry into inaccessible areas weigh 70 lbs. and the ATV would lessen the possibility of heart attacks. “It isn’t a toy”, he said in reference to a comment that Councilor Bill Snyder had made at the Aug. 11 meeting about the ATV.

Councilor John Purdon asked if the firefighters use their personal ATVs and if that would be more efficient than buying one ATV. Macdonald replied that borrowed equipment can be faulty and told of an incident where the brakes had failed on an ATV that was borrowed from a farmer. He said the ATV would be kept at the Mountain Grove station, just like the Jaws of Life are kept at Sharbot Lake and there would not be pressure to buy one for each department.

Councilor Frances Smith made a motion that council reconsider the purchase of the ATV, but Councilor Gary Smith said that if the fire department needs an ATV it should be included in the budget. He made a motion that the purchase should be deferred to budget time, which nullified Frances Smith’s motion. Mayor Gutowski said, “There’s no consensus here.”

Mark MacDonald gave council a heads-up that he’s been approached by Canadian Helicopters about an emergency helipad being built behind the Arden station.

Central Frontenac Looks North for New CAOby Jeff Green

As early as next week, Central Frontenac Township will have new leadership in place.

At their meeting on Monday, Council approved a bylaw appointing Mark Hall as Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

According to Central Frontenac Mayor Janet Gutowski, Mark Hall is expected to take up his post at the beginning of next week.

Mark Hall’s most recent posting was as the CAO of the

Town of Moosonee. Previously he worked in the far north, as public works manager in Iqaluit, Nunavut, a position he left in October of 2007 to take on the CAO role in Moosonee.

In the 1990s, before moving north, Mark Hall worked for years in Kanata, where he was the deputy clerk with responsibility for bylaw enforcement.

Mr. Hall currently resides in Almonte.

The appointment of Mark Hall fills a void that was created when interim CAO John Duchene resigned his position at the end of August.

John Duchene took on the position in January of 2007, replacing Heather Fox, who was on a medical leave. His three-month contract was extended several times and he remained on the job for a total of 18 months. Duchene informed Council in June that he was leaving his position. A three-month search culminated in a series of interviews by a committee mad up of councillors and staff.

A second interview phase, with two candidates, took place on Wednesday, September 3, and the committee then recommended that Council offer the position to Mark Hall.

“This is good news for the township,” said Mayor Janet Gutowski. “We now have permanent people filling the Public Works and CAO positions for the first time since the election in 2006.

Gutowski said that Mark Hall originally hails from Northern Ireland, where he was a law enforcement officer.

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