Jeff Green | Apr 03, 2008
Feature Article - April 3, 2008
Back toHomeFeature Article -April 3, 2008 North Frontenac Council, Mar 27/08 By Wilma Kenny
Rosy report on septic reinspection
Jamie Saunders of the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority visited North Frontenac Council last week, and he brought positive news about the three-year-old septic reinspection program that he has been managing for the township.
He reports that in 2007 he sent 160 questionnaires out to property owners on Kashwakamak, Big Gull, and Mazinaw Lakes, and received 100 reponses. He said that was a better response than he received in Tay Valley, Lanark Highlands and the other municipalities he does this work for.
Of the 100 systems that were inspected in North Frontenac, “About 40-50% required some maintenance,” Saunders said, “all the way from pumping out to cracked lids. Four of the systems required replacement and that information was passed on to Brian Black of Public Health.”
There are some issues of concern with the program, however. Water access properties, an issue on Mazinaw Lake, have not been inspected in the past, although Saunders said it might be possible to include some of them this year. Also, the program is entirely voluntary, so it is likely many inadequate septic systems are not inspected. Faulty septic systems on lakes can have a negative impact on the water.
“Do you keep track of the properties that don't respond to your survey?” asked Mayor Ron Maguire.
“If we keep record of those who don't reply, and send them a questionnaire again - if they don't respond again, maybe we should make a visit. I don't really know how to approach this,” Saunders said, adding, “The building code is making it a lot easier for mandatory inspection; within the next year or two, you should see a framework from the building code for this.”
Although the septic reinspection program is entirely voluntary, the township's chief building officer and KFL&A Public Health do have the authority to order improvements to private septic systems.
Mayor cool to Fairmount review – Ann Chisholm, the Pine Meadow Nursing Home Management Committee Chair, sent a letter to North Frontenac in which she asked the township to request an operational review of the Fairmount Home, a long-term care facility owned by Frontenac County.
Recently Lennox and Addington County announced that it will be providing funding support, $250,000 over 10 years, towards upgrades to Pine Meadow. A similar request for funding for Pine Meadow was rejected by Frontenac County earlier this year.
“I'm personally not in favour of making that request [for a review of Fairmount Home], for a couple of reasons. I think Pine Meadow might be shooting itself in the foot. There's no comparison between the two homes; this wouldn't be the right time to be asking the county to do that kind of review, it might just be an irritation, I think,” Maguire said, adding, “Because L&A decided to support the home, I'm hopeful that Frontenac County might, in their wisdom, decide to do something next year. If we charge in, I think we would lose any goodwill that we have”.
Councilor Wayne Cole, the North Frontenac Council representative to the Pine Meadow Management Committee, said that if Frontenac County has no role in funding Pine Meadow, “What in the blazes am I doing on the board?” But then he said to Maguire, “if you don't want to send the letter, just let Ann Chisholm know.”
Although Maguire said the fight for Pine Meadow funding is over for this year, he did make a parting comment about Fairmount Home. “Fairmount Home was chosen to be owned by the county, which is something I think we might revisit”.
Provincial funding – Council received notice that it will be receiving $596,800 from the Province of Ontario this year from the municipal partnership fund, a fund that was set up to provide compensation for the impact of social service and policing costs that were downloaded from the province 10 years ago. The funding was increased by $172,000 from 2007.