| Mar 13, 2008

Feature Article - March 13, 2008

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Feature Article - March 13, 2008 Central Frontenac Council wants to slow the county downBy Jeff Green

With Mayor Gutowski, Deputy Mayor Bob Harvey, and Councilor Norm Guntensperger away for a pre-spring break, the remaining six Central Frontenac councilors have tried to put a roadblock in front of the county’s sustainability plan.

At a council meeting in Mountain Grove on Monday night, which was presided over by Councilor Frances Smith, Acting Chief Administrative Officer John Duchene brought information to council about action that the County of Frontenac is poised to take next week.

“It is my understanding that at county council on March 19, they hope to adopt the integrated community sustainability plan framework.”

This framework will be used, among other things, as the basis for a points system whereby the county share of federal gas tax revenue will be allocated to individual township projects, and perhaps to other community groups as well, Duchene added.

“I'm just trying to make sure that this local council understands the process. I'm not sure that there has been enough input from the local councils,” he said.

The county is slated to receive almost $2 million in gas tax revenue by 2010 (an identical amount is being allocated directly to the townships).

But neither the county nor the townships are free to spend this money on anything they want. The money is earmarked for infrastructure projects that promote sustainability.

“The strange thing about all this is that the county doesn’t have any roads or bridges or other kind of infrastructure,” said Councilor John Purdon. “A couple of years ago there was talk that the county should just turn over the money, but this process they are setting up is rather onerous.”

“There were a number of concerns raised about this at a joint county meeting last month, and I’m not necessarily comfortable with the county acting as a funding agent for all and sundry” said Councilor Gary Smith.”

“Maybe we should look at slowing the process down,” said Councilor Frances Smith.

“We are at a disadvantage in talking about this when our county representative is not here,” said Gary Smith in reference to the fact that Mayor Gutowski was away on vacation, “but we are not going to be meeting before the county meets to adopt this framework.”

A motion was then prepared which reads:

That the Corporation of the Township of Central Frontenac respectfully request that the Council of Frontenac County defer adoption of both the County ICSP Framework (including screening criteria) and the County Community Consultation Plan until such time as all lower tier municipalities within the County have had the opportunity to understand and discuss these reports within their respective Councils and have submitted written responses to the proposed documents.

The motion was unanimously supported by the six members of council who were present.

Other items:

Council received a report from Fire Chief Mark MacDonald concerning an inspection he did of the Clow property in Hinchinbrooke. The owners of the property had applied for re-zoning in order to renovate their building and establish a 10-person seniors residence, and council had asked for a report as part of the re-zoning application.

In the report MacDonald pointed out that renovations to the property are ongoing even though a building permit has not yet been issued.

The report talks about fire code regulations that will have to be adhered to and also about the need for the facility to attain Class B occupancy in order for anyone with mobility issues, even relatively minor ones, to live in the residence. This will require a sprinkler system to be installed.

The Clows were in attendance at the meeting, and they asked to address council. They said they had received inconsistent information about what is required of them from different township officials, and were unclear as to where the process is headed.

Acting CAO John Duchene told them to call him directly and he would try to steer the process forward.

Deputy Chief Building Officer hired – the township has hired Alan Revil, the Chief Building Official in South Frontenac, to provide support to the building department to cover overflow, vacations, and illness in their one-member building department.

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