| Oct 30, 2008

Oct 30/08 - CF Council

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Feature Article - October 30, 2008 Central Frontenac council –October 28, 2008By Jeff Green

Central Frontenac snow routes approved by council

As the prospect of an October snow storm was looming, Central Frontenac Council gave their approval to a snow removal plan that has been under development by Public Works Manager John Simcock and the works department for several months.

The plan includes ten snow routes, and increases to the number of small and dead end roads that are plowed by three different contractors for the township. It is set up to work with military-style precision.

“The amount of service, our call out times, the chain of command, everything will be very quick. I think the level of service will blow the doors of whatever we've done before,” Simcock said.

He said it would take 6.85 hours to plow the entire township.

In going over the routes, Councilor Frances Smith said she noticed that in order to eliminate doubling back, the plan calls for some secondary roads to be plowed before major roads. “I wonder if people won't find themselves driving over plowed gravel roads and then running into deep snow when they reach the hard-topped roads,” she asked.

“With the time delivery we are talking about, that shouldn't be an issue,” Simcock said.

The crews were planning to do a dry run through the routes on Tuesday afternoon, and although Simcock said the “routes will need some tweaking,” he is confident the system will be run smoothly. “Every operator is trained, every route is documented, we're ready to go,” he said, after pulling out a series of township maps to show members of council the planning process that has been undertaken by his department.

“We gave you a job to do and you did it, I've got every confidence in the world,” said Councilor Bob Harvey. “Go to it, but when the first two or three snowstorms come, we'll be looking at it.”

Council approved the snow removal plan as presented.

The plan is tied to a road capital improvement plan that Simcock had outlined on another township map, and a tender for the privatization of maintenance for Road 38 has been put out. If the price is on or near what the township is paying currently, it will go forward as well.

Kennebec Hall needs work right away -

In the first report he has delivered to council since taking over responsibility for township facilities, Chief Building Official Ian Trickett started off by discussing a recent excavation of the back wall of the Kennebec Hall which, he said “turned out to be a minor nightmare. The block has not been parged, it is not damp proofed, there is no foundation drain in place, and it was backfilled with clay. It adds up to a comprehensive list of everything you are not supposed to do.”

Luckily, Trickett thinks the wall can be repaired rather than replaced, and he also has found that the septic bed for the hall “shows no signs of malfunctioning”.

He estimates that it will cost about $10,000 to fix the wall. As to the possibility of getting the work done before winter, Trickett said that depends on when winter comes. “If it snows and the snow stays then we're out of luck, but if we get a break with the weather we'll be ok. It does not take that long for parging to set,” he said.

Township Chief Administrative Officer Mark Hall said, “The next portion of this is to obtain quotes for the work.”

Ian Trickett also presented a written report outlining issues ranging from septic pumping in all facilities, which will now be done on a scheduled basis, to the roof repair at the Parham Fire Hall, the tender for which has been awarded. An inspection of the fire hall has turned up several more items of concern, however, some of which were serious health and safety issues that will be prioritized and budgeted for in future years according to the report.

The water supply and the septic system at the Oso Hall are both problem areas that have been identified.

Fire master plan to be presented on December 8 -

At their previous meeting, council had requested a statistical and information report from Fire Chief Mark MacDonald to learn of call volumes at the various stations.

CAO Hall said that the fire chief asked that council wait until December 8, when he will present a comprehensive report and will bring a fire master plan with him for council's consideration.

“I think we should see the fire chief more often at council,” said Councilor Guntensperger.

Council supports mayor on county governance – Mayor Gutowski discussed her decision to oppose a Frontenac County Council decision to spend $35,000 for consultation on the future makeup of county council, and to take the money from federal gas tax funding.

“I think ultimately it is a political decision in any case,” Gutowski said. “I didn't think we needed a consultant. We should all give our own thought to this, and I'm confident we can come up with something that works. Most of us feel there is not enough representation.”

“I came from the old days when there were 29 people at the table and that was not always a good thing,” said Councilor Frances Smith. “I served as deputy mayor in Central Frontenac one year and it certainly wasn't a very big job. I think having the mayor and deputy mayor sit on county council would make logical sense. That's my two cents. I don't think it takes a consultant to do this.”

Gates on Pit road – The Pit Road, which is south of Arden, runs right through a township-owned gravel pit. Because of the rules in the provincial pits and quarries act, all quarries must be secured for reasons of public safety. So, even though the Pit Road is a township road, it now has locked gates on either side of the township gravel pit. The road is not normally used by residents, except those who use it to access Crown land during hunting season.

Anyone who needs to access the Crown land through Pit Road should call the township office to arrange for a key.

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