| May 29, 2008

Feature Article - May 29, 2008

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Feature Article - May 29, 2008 North Frontenac Council-May 22/08By Jeff Green

North Frontenac Mayor Ron Maguire was participating in a rural forum in Kingston last week, so Deputy Mayor Jim Beam was called upon to chair the regular council meeting on May 22.

Big Gull Lake – At a previous meeting, council had received a delegation led by David Pattenden representing a group of island cottagers on Big Gull Lake who were seeking to establish a dock on Crown Land in order to access their cottage properties, since the existing marinas on the lake have been closed.

A group of residents on the lake, whose properties are located across the bay from the proposed docking facility, have commissioned commentary on the proposal by the firm Birchall Northey.

The 13 page report, which was sent to the Bancroft Ministry of Natural Resources office, and copied to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority and the township, argues that the “draft ESR [Environmental Assessment Report] is fundamentally flawed, as it does not consider all reasonable alternatives and it does not provide adequate justification for the preferred alternatives”.

Among the alternatives that are noted in Birchhall Northey's comments are the purchase of one of the closed marinas by the island cottage owners, the use of an existing marina located a w“10-15 minute” boat ride away, or the purchase of private land on another, more secluded bay.

Birchall Northey also said that the environmental impacts of the proposal have not been adequately evaluated.

Councilor Lonnie Watkins said “I can’t see where these issues are coming from. If people do not use the local marinas themselves, they end up closing, and people need to do something to get to their island cottages. I think the people who are complaining just don't want to see a dock when they look across the bay.”

Deputy Mayor Jim Beam said “I think a lot of the onus is going to come to the ministry to respond to these people.”

“If they have some complaints, they should come to council,” said Councilor Wayne Cole.

“They can come to council if they want but they need to have a real good reason to make us try to stop this. As far as I'm concerned the advocates for this dock are just trying to get to their cottages, and they are paying for it themselves,” said Councilor Wayne Good.

Tenders, tenders, tenders

The roadside grass mowing contract was awarded for three years to Scott's snow plowing and grass cutting service at a rate of $94.50 per hour, a $5 increase over the bid from last year. They were the only bidder.

There were three bids for the gravel crushing contract, which went to the lowest bidder, Robert Young Construction of Peterborough for $40,700 including all taxes.

The winter sand contract went to Gemmill Construction, the lowest of three bidders, at a cost of $39,324 after taxes.

Pine Lake concerns – Councilor Wayne Cole expressed his ongoing concern about the proposed building at Pine Lake by the Ardoch Algonquins, particularly in so far as building permits are concerned.

In response to these concerns, council passed a motion inviting a representative from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to attend the June 12 meeting with respect to permits and taxes and other related items.

Uranium levels high on two properties – Jim Beam, the township representative to the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority (MVCA), informed council that of 80 wells that were tested for uranium contamination in North and Central Frontenac and Lanark Highlands, as part of a program sponsored by MVCA, two of the wells showed “extremely high rates”. An earlier set of tests showed a few wells with some uranium contamination, but only in the lower range.

Solstice gathering – On June 21, a volunteer breakfast will be held at the Clar-Mill Hall, and concurrent activities such as the skateboard park, games, face painting balloon twisting, and a BBQ at noon will also take place, with activities slated to finish by 1:30.

Harlowe Road Cleanup – A roadside cleanup of the Harlowe Road, all the way from Hwy. 41, through Harlowe, and on to the Central Frontenac border, will take place on June 14. For further information or to volunteer, contact Wayne Good, at 613-336-0158

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