| Feb 12, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - February 12, 2009 Will it be “all for one and one for all” in South Frontenac?By Jeff Green

Two weeks ago, South Frontenac council rejected a proposal to amalgamate the road maintenance and parkland reserve funds in the township.

Currently the roads and waste management services, as well as some reserve funds, are all managed on a district basis. The township has a central budget and four district budgets, and both Mayor Davison and some senior township staff have argued that having four roads budgets and four waste management budgets in one township is unwieldy and does not foster a unified township.

This week at a Committee of the Whole meeting, the majority of South Frontenac councilors agreed to look seriously at amalgamating all services within the township, even the contentious one of waste management.

Mayor Gary Davison initiated the debate this week by saying, “Comments were made last time to the effect of 'let's not do half, let's get it done’, so here we are again”.

Councilor Ron Vandewal said, “I was one that definitely said that. There are things we have to agree about, such as reserve funds. Right now the way it works the districts have all the gravy and the township has all the liability. We have to move forward somehow or we'll fall back. I think this council should deal with this before our term is up”.

Among the five other councilors who were present, three agreed with Vandewal, but Portland councilors Jim Hicks and Bill Robinson remained opposed.

“I'm ok with amalgamation,” said Robinson, “for the roads, I'd support that, but waste management and central recreation, I won't support that”.

The two councilors for Storrington district, who have been cold to the amalgamation proposal, were not in attendance.

“Why don't we get the mayor and the CAO to bring a proposal forward for amalgamation to our Committee of the Whole meeting in March, and we can go through it and see what we like and what we want to change,” suggested Councilor David Hahn.

Mayor Davison acknowledged that any decision about amalgamation would have to be made with the entire Council present, but said, “We are not going to stop moving issues forward because people aren’t here. Everyone will get their chance”.

Gord Burns will bring a report forward to a meeting on March 10.

Salt management: Public works Manager Mark Segsworth brought forward a proposal to engage Jewell Engineering in a $63,500 contract to design a second salt/sand building at the township’s largest works yard at Keeley Road near Sydenham. Jewell will also provide a proposal for a series of other changes to the site to make it safer and bring it in line with provincial requirements. All of the work that needs to be done at Keeley Road will likely cost more than $1 million, and will likely be paid for out of the township’s gas tax rebate from the federal government.

“Keeley Road is our largest yard, and will likely remain that way for quite a while,” said Segsworth, “It's a good place to start, and then we can work at getting all of our yards up to standard.”

“We give people such a hard time when they want to put an addition on to their cottage; I think it’s time we got our own house in order,” said Councilor Del Stowe.

A resolution to approve the $63,500 contract will come to the Council meeting on February 17.

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