| Sep 17, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - September 17, 2009North Frontenac Council – Sept. 10/09By Jeff Green RESIDENTS WANT MORE ROAD WORK: A series of letters came to council about roads into some of North Frontenac's larger lakes, including Mackie Lake, Shabomeka/Shawenegog, and Big Gull Lake.

In each case the situation is different, as are the requests.

In the case of Mackie Lake, 41 cottage residents are concerned about the boat launch to the lake, a hill on the access road, and the lack of secure access to the lake.

Susan Hemmerlich, a director of the Mackie Lake Association, has been in contact with Cory Klatt, who manages the township’s Crown Land Stewardship Program.

The township does not own the boat launch or the access road, which are both Ministry of Natural Resources property. They are contained in a land use permit with the township, however, but there is only $10,000 available to maintain 58 kilometres of road under the program, and the work cannot be done by township employees or equipment, only by contractors that are hired by the township.

Long-time seasonal Mackie Lake resident Bruce Henrick attended the North Frontenac Council meeting on September 10 and he managed to address Council. “The access road is needed,” he said. “This is not just a a Mackie Lake situation; this is a needed road.”

“Our hands are tied. If we do this, we will be inundated with demands we cannot afford,” replied Mayor Ron Maguire.

“The township had a road to Mackie Lake, and they closed it and forced us to use the Crown road. If you simply review bylaw 288 it should be clear,” Mr. Henrick said.

Mayor Maguire said the township would look into it.

SHABOMEKA ROAD – Letters were received from the Mazinaw Property Owners’ Association and the Shawenegog Lake Association asking the township to pave the final 3 kilometres of the Shabomeka Road, which is used to access properties on Shawenegog Lake.

Jeff Gardner, President of the Shawenegog Lake Association, said in his letter that, “The original promise to upgrade and surface the road was made 15 years ago. In a May of 2003 meeting of Council, the mayor reiterated the township's intention. The quote was 'your road is next'”.

Tar and chip paving has been done on the road for the past couple of years, but none has been done this year, although some other work has been done.

“There are only 3 kilometres left. I recommend we do it,” said Councilor Fred Perry.

“We should reply to the letters,” said Mayor Ron Maguire, “saying that we will look at what was budgeted this year and that we'll look at it for next year, but we do not need to address promises that were made in the past.”

GREER ROAD – There was also a letter from Beverley Burke of Greer Road near Big Gull Lake, complaining about rocks on the shoulder of the road, which she said caused an accident earlier this summer.

Township Clerk Brenda de Fosse informed Council that staff were “well aware” of the issue Ms. Burke was referring to, and that the grading on that road has been improved.

CLEAR BAGS CAUSE COMPLAINTS – A number of letters and emails came to Council's attention regarding the switch to clear garbage bags at township dumps. Of particular concern was the requirement that white “kitchen catcher” style bags be emptied into the clear bags, and that local stores ran short of clear bags at one point in August.

“It's always going to be hard for everyone to get their heads around the waste management bylaw, and extra hard when we have 35% seasonals, but hopefully over time it is going to become well known what visitors to North Frontenac have to do. In the meantime we are going to get complaints,” said Mayor Maguire.

The clear bag rule was put in place because, even with an incentive program that provided a free bag tag for every bag of recyclables residents bring to the dumps, recyclables were still being found in township landfills. Residents must remove any recyclables that the site attendants find in the clear bags.

The clear bag initiative is included in an integrated waste management plan that the township will finalize later this year, the first such plan in Frontenac County.

AMBULANCE ISSUE UNRESOLVED – The location of a new ambulance base will likely be the next flashpoint in the ongoing dispute between the township and Frontenac County. Paul Charbonneau, Director of Emergency Services for Frontenac County, addressed North Frontenac Council in August. He is scheduled to make his final recommendation to county council this week regarding the location of a new ambulance base to serve the eastern and central portions of North Frontenac.

Township Clerk/Planning Coordinator Brenda DeFosse reported that she had contacted Paul Charbonneau and he informed her that he had “nothing further to bring to North Frontenac Council” before delivering that report.

In mulling over what the township’s next move should be amid fears the new ambulance base would be located outside the township at the junction of Ardoch Road and Highway 509, Deputy Mayor Jim Beam said “We have not received a response to our resolution to the county concerning the consultant’s report in the first place. Our resolution was short and sweet. The report was flawed. We should remind the county of that.”

The township also received a letter from primary care paramedic Ryan Conboy, who works out of the North Frontenac ambulance base. The letter outlines the current system, and the amount of time the North Frontenac ambulance spends on stand-by in Parham.

“To be perfectly honest, if we spend five hours a day within North Frontenac Township, that is a good day for coverage in the North,” Conboy's letter states at one point.

“I read the letter carefully. I think the best option is just to stop the standby service,” said Mayor Maguire.

“The letter is written from a centrist perspective,” said Councilor Bob Olmstead. “I feel Mr. Charbonneau had a lot to do with it.”

Maguire on leave, Beam to take his place – Mayor Maguire will be away from the region during the months of October and November, and Deputy Mayor Beam will replace him as head of council. Beam will also be the township representative to Frontenac County during that time. 

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