| Feb 05, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - February 5, 2009 North Frontenac CouncilBy Jeff Green

North Frontenac Council facing budget crunch

North Frontenac Council has been quick off the mark in considering their 2009 budget. Most township Councils are just now beginning the process.

But thus far, Council and senior staff don’t particularly like what they see.

Increased costs for waste management and road maintenance, and a need to put money aside for future capital projects, have all affected the budget, and township CAO/Treasurer Cheryl Robson said “although the numbers are still very preliminary, we are still very high, sitting right now at an increase of 5% in the township portion of the budget.”

Council will be meeting later this month to continue working on the budget.

Consultants recommends compaction

In presenting a comprehensive waste management plan to Council on January 29th, Guy Laporte of AECOM engineering (formerly TSH) made the point that the estimated dumping capacity in township sites is about 21 years.

“However, if you begin compacting the waste, you can increase the lifespan of the sites by about 50%,” he said to Council.

The cost of a used compactor is about $200,000, with another option being contracting out compaction at a cost of $34,000 per year.

Although Laporte said AECOM does not see a need for the township to consider expanding any of their waste sites at this time, the Mississippi Station site is a candidate for expansion in the future, and it is possible it can be made large enough to accommodate 20 years worth of North Frontenac waste.

Laporte also pointed out that most of the considerable cost of maintaining township waste sites is paid for out of property taxes, and recommended that the “program be changed to that a larger portion is funded through user fees.”

The township is considering scheduling a public meeting to consult about a variety of proposed changes.

More waste, of a different kind

Jamie Saunders, from Rideau Valley Conservation, made a presentation about the 2008 Wastewater Disposal System Re-inspection program (AKA septic re-inspection).

Saunders reported that last year, because of scheduling problems, only 78 systems out of a planned 100 were actually inspected.

On the positive side, for the first time island properties were included in the inspection program; including Islands on Kashwakamak and Big Gull Lakes.

“I’m pleased to say that the state of systems on the islands was pretty good,” said Saunders. “We’d all heard that we would find straight pipes into the water but that was not what we found at all.”

The main function of the re-inspection program is educational, Saunders said.

“We spent a lot of time talking to people about proper maintenance of systems,” Saunders said.

Of the 78 systems inspected last year, 34 had no concerns, 37 required some work, mostly of a minor nature, 5 require further information in order to be evaluated, and 2 require replacement and have been referred to the Health Unit.

“Would it be possible to increase the number of inspections per year,” asked Mayor Ron Maguire.

Saunders replied that 200 system are looked at each year in Tay Valley Township it would be possible to do the same in North Frontenac.

The program cost $7,600 to run in 2008.

Roads task force members named – The following people have been named to join three members of Council on a Roads Task Force: Russel Gray, John Hudson, Bill Raeburn, Darwyn Sproule, Bob Watkins and Karin Reynolds.

Mayoralty candidate in 2010? Among the seminars that Councillors have signed up for at the upcoming annual municipal conference in Toronto, Deputy Mayor Beam has signed up for the “Heads of Council” training session.

Ringing endorsement for Denbigh ambulance committee paper – Council passed a strongly worded motion in support of the recommendations that were found in the Denbigh community groups “Ambulance Position Paper”.

The resolution concurred that a “reduction of the Denbigh ambulance to 12 hour coverage” would “result in a net decrease in the quality and net increase in the costs of medical care as a whole.”

It also said that “effective land ambulance delivery cannot recognize political boundaries,” and asks the province to “resume responsibility for land ambulance”.

A consultants report on the Frontenac County Land ambulance service will be released in March, according to County Officials.

Paul Charbonneau, the manager of the Frontenac County Service, confirmed that the question of the Denbigh Station would be considered in the report.

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.