| Jun 19, 2008

Jun 19/08 - NF Council

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Feature Article - June 19, 2008 North Frontenac Council - June 12/08by Jeff Green

Neighbours want to block islanders’ plan for dock on Big Gull

A delegation of Big Gull Lake residents, led by Keith Rowe and Adair Crosby, appeared before North Frontenac Council last week. They raised concerns about a proposal to build a dock for 12 island cottagers on the east end of Big Gull Lake on Crown land that is administered by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The islanders came to council on May 1 to request access through two small pieces of township property, and the rest of their dealings have been with the MNR.

On May 29, council received a consultant’s report from a group of land-based residents of the east end of Big Gull Lake, which challenged the assertion by the islanders that the dock proposal is the “preferred alternative” to the problem of access to the 12 cottages.

According to one of the delegates, the information that was presented to the MNR and the township by advocates of the dock, “is full of assumptions that have not been tested”. The neighbours say they are concerned about the impact 12 or more boats could have on water quality. “The issue is the concentration within the bay. We are concerned about spillage. We have to look at the future viablity of the bay,” one of them said. “There have been no studies on the bay this far to gauge the impact of what has already been done there.”

The docks are being proposed in the wake of the closing of two marinas that formerly provided docking services for the cottagers.

One of the delegates argued that two marinas on the other side of the lake, which he said “are only a 10-15 minute boat ride away” should be offered the opportunity to provide docking to the islanders. “We should not be competing with businesses that need all the help they can get,” he said. “They need the business.”

Deputy Mayor Jim Beam, sitting in for Mayor Maguire, who was attending a meeting in Ottawa, said “Council will take both sides into consideration, but truthfully most of the approvals come from the MNR, and the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. They are strict when it comes to the environmental impacts of new structures.”

Clar- Mill hall water woes: It seems that township staff have determined why the basement of the Clarendon and Miller hall at Plevna continues to have a mould problem. The mould has led the Kingston Frontenac Public Library to close the branch located in the hall until the problem is addressed.

According to a report from Recreation Coordinator Corey Klatt, when council members and staff met with members of the community for a work bee at the hall on May 1, they saw water running into the basement at several locations. The source of the water is a spring at the west side of the building. “Due to this spring along the seamy fractured rock the water is able to seep down the rock layer and under the building,” the report said.

The report goes on to say that staff is concerned that work intended to bring the library to a state where it can re-open will not succeed; the library could “still be damp and musty” because of the wet basement.

The proposed resolution includes purchasing and installing new soffits and fascia, and digging around the west side of the building, removing water and mud, and ditching to create an alternate route for the water from the spring to take. The cost of this project is to be covered by the ward 2 special park reserve fund, which has over $8,000 in it, with the balance being transferred from a township contingency fund.

Council approved the proposed course of action.

Letter re: moratorium on uranium exploration:Council received a letter from Mary Lynne Stewart Holtin and Jim Holtin asking if North Frontenac has received a response to its September 13 letter to Premier McGuinty. The letter petitioned the province to “enact a moratorium on uranium prospecting, exploration, and mining in eastern Ontario”

Township staff said that no reponse has been received. Council decided to send a second letter, along with a copy of the Holtin's letter, to the premier, asking why his response has been so slow in coming.

OMA does not get support:In a carry-over from comments by Mayor Maguire at a previous meeting, council considered whether to support the Ontario Medical Assocation, which is asking that nurses-only clinics not be supportred in the Province of Ontario. Mayor Maguire had made the comment that North Frontenac, which has no medical services offered within its borders and is served mainly by clinics in Northbrook and Sharbot Lake, “would take anything we can get,” and would not be averse to a nurses-only clinic.

Council decided not to heed a request for support from the Ontario Medical Association.

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