Jeff Green | Feb 05, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - February 5, 2009 South Frontenac Councilby Wilma Kenny
Winter Sand Payment Increased
On the recommendation of public works manager Mark Segsworth, Council agreed to pay contractor W.J.Heska an additional $1. per yard over his original bid, for winter sand supplied.
This was in consideration of unanticipated additional costs, including damage to Heska’s equipment caused by improper moving by township staff. The total cost with the additional payment is still almost $70,000 less than it would have been, had Heska not bid on the contract.
Frontenac Arch Biosphere’s Funding Request
Councillor Hahn spoke in support of the Biosphere reserve’s request for increased funding, listing several substantial projects the group was working with: a mapping of all trails in the reserve area, promotion of the Local Flavours farm network, developing a database of local artists and artisans, and a national model for sustainable tourism. In previous years, South Frontenac had given the group $500: the current request, for 25 cents per capita, would come to $5,000. Hahn suggested $2,000. Councillors York and Robinson reminded Council that when the Biosphere reserve was originally set up, council had been assured there would be no financial cost to the township. In the end, Council agreed to provide $1,000.
Limited Consultation Process for Wireless Communication Facilities
Following receipt of a lawyer’s letter on behalf of Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless and TELUS Mobility, Council appointed Alan Revill as the designated official in the township for notification of the location for new towers. Burns pointed out that although Industry Canada now requires a limited amount of communication with the municipality and the community in the vicinity of a new tower, placement of communications towers does not require municipal approval.
Council approved in principle that as part of the Official Plan Review, an expanded ‘Area of Influence’ be included surrounding the settlement area of Sydenham. It is also proposed that new development within this area would be required to connect to the municipal water system, unless it can be demonstrated that such a connection would be cost prohibitive. A public meeting will be scheduled to inform residents of these proposed changes.
Also, Council has agreed to set up a Water Advisory Committee comprised of the two Loughborough district councillors and three members of the public. The Township will advertise for interested applicants to the committee, which will have an advisory role to Council.
Sustainable Economic Development in Action
Jo-Anne Cuddy presented council with Land O’Lakes Tourist Association’s new 2009 maps and visitors’ guidebooks. Land O’Lakes mandate is to support economic development through promoting tourism. Cuddy said that although there had been less visitors to the region from the US in 2008, overall tourist numbers had been up, due to an increase in tourists from other countries, as well as more ‘local’ visitors. The new web address is: www.travellandolakes.com.South Frontenac Committee of the WholeBy Wilma Kenny
CAO Gord Burns made a plea for Council to consider amalgamating the road budgets and recreation reserves. He noted that last year council had discussed amalgamating roads, but had decided to wait and see how things worked out in 2008. During the past year, some area road projects had gone over budget, but this had been offset by the $250,000 gas tax money distributed to each of the districts.
Burns also pointed out that "while 2008 showed some township road budgets in deficits and others without, that situation could easily be reversed any given year."
With regard to Recreation, the question of who is responsible for libraries has also been discussed, with the thought that libraries as well as district buildings such as the Storrington Centre, Harris Park, Princess Anne and Bedford Hall should be South Frontenac responsibilities.
A new issue has arisen: council is now looking at the possibility of a new branch for the Kingston Frontenac Public Library system in Sydenham, which would include renovation of the present library space to create offices for Township staff who are presently located at the township barns.
This building project might be an appropriate use for some of the parkland reserve funds which are now distributed through the four districts. As well, the role of the Central Recreation Committee is being re-examined: projects such as new soccer fields, ball diamonds, building upgrades and libraries could receive funding on a township wide basis, with Central Recreation advising Council as to the availability of funds and preferred projects.
The discussion that followed was lively, with several Councillors speaking strongly in favour of amalgamation.
Councillor Robinson asked for a referendum: "Take it to the people," he said.
Mayor Davison replied, "We did, last election - I ran promising amalgamation, and I was elected!"
Councillor Ron Vandewal said he was in favour of amalgamation, but could not support Burns’ proposal as it was written.
"Don’t just choose bits and pieces: do it all or do nothing," he said.
Council voted 5-4 not to bring Burns’ proposal to the next council meeting.
Bob Branscombe, representative of the Ontario Fire Marshall’s office, presented a Certificate of Compliance to Fire Chief Rick Chesborough and Mayor Gary Davison. This certificate recognizes the fact that the South Frontenac Fire Department meets or exceeds the Ontario Fire Marshall’s requirements for fire service within the township, and is in compliance with the public education and fire prevention requirements of the Ontario Fire Protection Act.
Don Ross, Executive Director of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere (FAB) asked Council to consider increasing their annual financial support to a contribution equivalent to between $0.25 and $0.50 per capita per year. (Present South Frontenac annual grant has been $500.) Ross’s report noted that Canada’s Biosphere Reserves receive little support from the federal government, as opposed to other similar reserves throughout the world. In the past two years, the FAB has managed to contribute over $600,000 to the community through contracted services and programs they have developed in the areas of culture, environment, economy and society.
Planner Bob Clark of Port Hope updated Council on the proposed Gordon commercial and subdivision proposals for the corner of Rutledge and Sydenham Roads. The highway commercial area would contain gas station, convenience store and storage units: the housing subdivision, north of Rutledge Road, would have 41 residential lots. Not all preliminary studies are completed: Clark estimated the formal applications would not come to Council for six months.
Use of Township Vehicles
Alan Revill tabled a draft policy concerning the use of township vehicles by township staff, particularly in regard to off-hours and personal use. After discussion, Council asked him to redraft a tighter version than the one presented. A comment from the floor supported a firmer policy, in regard to an incident of perceived possible misuse of a township vehicle for transportation of family members.
After a brief review of the Township’s rather detailed procurement policy, CAO Burns agreed to send a letter to all township committees reminding them of this policy and asking them to contact him before making any major purchases.