| Aug 28, 2008

Feature Article - August 28, 2008

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Feature Article - August 28, 2008 North Frontenac Council -Aug 21/08By Jeff Green & Julie Druker

Council Position Filled

“I was the least likely candidate and I was chosen out of a hat.”

That's what Elaine Gunsinger said as she was being sworn in as councillor for Ward 2 in North Frontenac, replacing Wayne Cole. Cole resigned earlier this summer.

The unlikely outcome came about after a process that extended over two council meetings and two sets of votes, all leading to an eventual impasse, before four names were put into a hat and Gunsinger's was pulled out.

At the time of the July meeting of North Frontenac Council, two people had put their names forward for the position.

At that time Mayor Maguire said he was not satisfied with the response, and suggested that a second call for nominations take place, and that a process be struck for a quasi-election to take place at the August council meeting.

At this meeting Gleva Lemke and Betty Hunter were nominated by members of council, and Mayor Maguire then asked if he could nominate as well. No one expressed concerns, and Maguire then nominated Jim Bacon and Elaine Gunsinger. Betty Hunter and Gleva Lemke are both former members of council, Lemke having served 18 years and Hunter three. Betty Hunter ran for mayor in 2006, and lost out to Ron Maguire. Gleva Lemke, who lives in ward 1, did not run.

The process that council agreed upon on this occasion was to have a question and answer period, followed by a call for nominations, and then a vote.

The voting process was unusual. Rather than having one vote apiece, each councillor had the opportunity to vote for each candidate, and at the end the candidate with the most number of votes was to win. The catch was that the winning candidate needed to receive majority support, at least 4 of the 6 members of council needed to vote for them.

In the first round of voting, Betty Hunter received three votes, Gleva Lemke received three votes, Elaine Gunsinger received two votes, and Jim Bacon received one vote.

Since none of the candidates received four votes, a second round of voting was held, with all four candidates remaining on the ballot. This time each of them was supported by three members of council.

Then, in accordance with the rules council had agreed to, the names were put into a hat and Elaine Gunsinger’s was chosen.

Council rejects Tappin’s Bay dock proposal

Saying that the proponents, the Mazinaw Lake Property Owners’ Association (MPOA), have greatly increased the size of the project, North Frontenac Council has poured cold water on a proposal to increase the size of the public dock at Tappins Bay on Mazinaw Lake.

One month earlier, pending approval from the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and provided liability insurance is secured, Council had given tentative approval to a proposal by the MPOA to put in a floating extension on the existing 10 x 62 ft. dock so that it can accommodate more boats.

The existing dock straddles the shore, where the water is quite shallow, and the proposal was to attach a dock that juts out into the water.

The MPOA presented a proposal to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, which acts on behalf of the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and a copy of the proposal was sent to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).

The MNR had no problem with the proposal, and Mississippi Valley said there would be no impact on fish habitat, provided certain conditions were met, the main one being that the dock not be put in until June 1 each year, and be removed before October 31.

The township’s insurance company suggested that MPOA purchase insurance and said the township’s insurance costs would not be affected unless there is a claim.

However, when Council saw the actual proposal that MPOA had sent to the regulatory agencies, they were displeased.

“The scope has changed; it is different from what we saw,” said Mayor Ron Maguire.

The original proposal was for a single extension, but the current proposal calls for an L-shaped extension, made up of two 10x12 ft. pieces and a 10x26 ft. piece. The preferred option that was presented to Mississippi Valley called for the two 10x12 ft. pieces to be attached at one end of the existing dock and extend at a 90 degree angle into the bay, and the 10x26 ft. piece to be attached at the end of the second piece to run parallel to the shore in deeper water 24 feet from shore.

“I think we should revise our original resolution on this,” said Councilor Fred Perry. “The pitch was for one dock only, and they pay for insurance. They should continue to look for solutions to their docking problems”.

`We need to send them a letter to let them know we are annoyed that the scope has changed and they sought approval from the agencies before showing us the changes. They need to approach us first,” said Mayor Maguire.

Council voted to rescind motion #358-08, which had said Council “is in favour of the Mazinaw Property Owner's Association adding an addition to the existing municipal dock at the Tappins Bay Dock” under certain conditions.

Council has also decided that before approving any future docking proposal from MPOA, they will require that the association take out their own liability insurance.

Clar-Mill Hall woes continue

When you look for trouble you often find it. Corey Klatt, the Recreation Coordinator for North Frontenac Township, certainly found that out last month when he engaged an engineer to try to get to the bottom of the seemingly endless water-related problems at the Clarendon and Miller Hall in Plevna.

The hall used to house the Plevna branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, until the library pulled out a year ago last spring because of a mould problem. Since then the township has taken several steps but water problems have persisted.

At their July 17 meeting, council directed Klatt to prepare a complete report regarding required repairs to the hall and library.

He engaged Tom Kara, a structural engineer from Totten Sims Hubicki, to look at the building. Kara recommended a new roof, heating and ventilation upgades, work on the basement, site grading and foundation damp proofing, repairs to interior finishes, and repairs to the library. The total cost of the repairs was $95,000.

At first glance, council did not see how this could be done this year, since it is not an amount that is in the budget for hall repairs.

“I'd like to see when we hit budget time in the fall, we consider a new hall and maybe combine our needs for new municipal space. Maybe we can put some repairs into it for the winter,” said Mayor Ron Maguire.

Council decided to do minor repairs to keep the hall functional until funds can be raised for a new hall.

Reverse Osmosis rejected – In their 2008 budget, North Frontenac Council put aside $14,000 to be spent on a reverse osmosis water system at the municipal office/public works garage and fire hall site because of high salt and mineral content in the water.

Corey Klatt contacted four contractors and three of them refused to quote on the job. In the words of one of them, “The water is basically untreatable and there would be no guarantee with any of our systems.”

A fourth company quoted a price of $16,000 with an annual maintenance fee of $1,000.

Citing the response of three of the contractors, Klatt did not recommend proceeding with a treatment, and council took his advice.

Frontenac Development Fund – Council received a request for comment from Frontenac County Warden Jim Vanden Hoek on an outline for how a proposed county-wide development fund would work, and what kinds of projects it could fund.

Mayor Maguire said he is “not interested in taking part in his [Vanden Hoek's] vision of the Frontenac Development fund at all” and council agreed.

Land Claim negotiations set to start again – Mayor Maguire has received a letter from Michael Johnson, of the Municipal Advisory Committee to the Algonquin Land Claim. The letter said that the Algonquins have confirmed they are ready to return to the negotiating table and an agreement in principle could be reached in two years.

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