| Aug 06, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - August 6, 2009 South Frontenac Councilby Jeff Green

Coming and going - South Frontenac Clerk Administrator Bord Burns(l) will retire at the end of this week after 8 years with the township. Wayne orr (r) will take over his duties next monday. They were both on hand to provide guidance to this week's meeting.

It wasn’t intentional, but South Frontenac Council greeted its new CAO Wayne Orr and said goodbye to its retiring CAO Gord Burns with a three-hour display of internal bickering (most of which was relatively good natured) at their only scheduled August meeting in Sydenham on Tuesday night, August 4.

The meeting started quietly enough. Vicky Leakey from the accounting firm KPMG presented the financial statements for 2008. She concluded, “There are no issues or recommendations that we need to make. We came up with no adjustments, and did not identify any fraudulent or potentially fraudulent or illegal acts. Nothing came to our attention and we did not notice any unusual actions.”

PORTLAND REC COMMITTEE: A request from the Portland District Recreation Committee for an extra $75,000 to complete planned upgrades to facilities in Verona and Harrowsmith was considered.

The 2009 budget included money for work on the Centennial Park Ball diamond, band shell and tennis courts in Harrowsmith and the Verona tennis courts and McMullen Park Waterfront.

The budget that was set for the five projects was $61,000, but when the price estimates came in from contractors the costs were more than twice as high as the amounts budgeted.

The Verona and Centennial Park tennis courts were both budgeted at $12,500 but the estimated cost is now $25,000 each. The Centennial Park Ball Diamond was budgeted at $24,000 and the estimated cost is now listed as “unknown”. The McMullen Park waterfront project, which includes an accessible boardwalk, has swelled to $35,000 although budgeted at $10,000, and the Centennial Park band shell now stands at $6,000 although budgeted at $2,000.

The request was for $75,000 from the Portland Recreation Reserve to complete all the projects in 2009.

“If the roads department came back to us and said their budgets had doubled, we would chastise them and tell them to cut some of their projects. Why should this be any different?” asked Councilor Ron Vandewal.

“Are these new estimated costs based on tenders or are they just a new guess?” asked Councilor David Hahn.

“The tennis courts are based on tenders,” said Portland District Councilor Jim Hicks.

“The waterfront estimate was way out,” said the other Portland Councilor Bill Robinson.

The matter will come back to council in September.

SYDENHAM LIBRARY – Frontenac County submitted a successful grant application for 2/3 funding of the cost of building a new library in Sydenham, which will in turn allow the township to reclaim the existing library space to expand the township office and bring all the departments under one roof.

The county is now seeking a commitment from South Frontenac to cover any overruns in the library construction project.

“They made it very clear to us when we met with them that this was going to be their project; that they could be in charge of it and we would have no say in what happens. My point is - why should we give them a blank cheque? If we have no control over how much money they spend on it, why should we cover any cost overruns?” asked Ron Vandewal.

“There won’t be any cost overruns. Were there cost overruns for Sydenham Water or the tower? No,” said Mayor Gary Davison.

“I’d be willing to do it if we have some approval,” said Councilor David Hahn.

“I agree. We need to sign off on the project as it moves forward,” said Councilor Larry York.

Council agreed to accept responsibility for the overruns provided they have a chance to review every tender related to the project before they are awarded.

TRICKY INTERSECTION TO STAY AS IS: Public Works Manager Mark Segsworth presented a report recommending that $30,600 be spent on a study by AECOM consulting to determine how best to change the intersection of the Colebrook, Wilton, and Ottawa roads and Road 38. “The reality is that 38 is our most heavily traveled road, and this is the most dangerous spot on the road. There haven’t been any accidents there, but there have been a lot of near misses, and with the road getting busier all the time I think we should do something,” Segsworth said.

“Are you talking about a traffic light?” asked Ron Vandewal.

“My mind is open. Other options include a roundabout, or rerouting some roads or doing nothing. I think there is a need to look at this and it is something I can’t do for myself,” Segsworth responded.

“It’s a lot of money for nothing,” said Councilor Bill Robinson. “I’ve lived in that rat race for 40 years and nothing’s ever happened. We don’t need a traffic light. It’s like putting a traffic light in Piccadilly Square in England. I don’t agree with it.”

Council sided with Robinson, and turned down the proposal in a 7-2 vote.

Perth Road assessment approved – Council did approve a proposed $18,000 operational assessment of Perth Road by McIntosh Perry.

The McIntosh Perry proposal was the most expensive response to a request for proposal (RFP) that the township had set out, but Segsworth said their proposal was the only one that was comprehensive, and he knows they have the staff to do the proper traffic counts and analysis. The RFP was awarded to McIntosh Perry.

Road construction update – Mark Segsworth presented an update on road construction.

“There have been cost overruns from what was budgeted, but we have adjusted our program and most likely we will - let me rephrase that - we will remain within the budget …I hope you appreciate what we are doing here. This is no Sleepy Hollow. We are doing $5.9 million in road construction this year.”

Of that total, $4.35 million is coming from the township budget and a further $1.8 million from grant money.

Road that are receiving attention include: Buck Bay, Burridge, Canoe Lake and Wolfe Lake roads in Bedford; Burnett, Graham, Redmond, Verona Sand, Snider, Cross, Long Swamp, Piccadilly, Colebrook and Quinn Roads in Portland; Canoe Lake, Charley Green, Daley, Keeley, Walker, and Orser Roads in Loughborough; 11 roads in Storrington, and 12 Concession, Bear Creek, High Falls Bridge, Loughborough Lake Bridge, Sydenham and Bedford roads among township maintained roads.

South Frontenac Rec. Committee established – Council spent a lot of time figuring out what to do with a proposal to hire Wes Garrod to produce a five-year Recreational Master Plan for the township.

David Hahn wanted to defer the motion to receive more information about Garrod’s work plan and fees, but the motion to defer was defeated. Nonetheless Hahn cast the deciding vote, in favour of hiring Garrod now.

Truck woes - The tender for two ¾ ton and one ½ ton pickup for use in winter maintenance had been awarded to Condie Pontiac, but Condie has informed Segsworth that the vehicles will not be ready until January. Segsworth asked for leave to consider other options, perhaps looking at the number 2 bidder, Revell Ford, if Condie cannot deliver the trucks on time.

“An agreement is an agreement; we should stick with Condie,” said Bill Robinson.

“I won’t do anything until I come back to Council in September,” Segsworth said.

Council agreed to let him work on getting at least two trucks in place before the snow falls. 

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