Jeff Green | Jan 13, 2016

Police seek to get upstream

At his semi-annual report to Addington Highlands Council, Detachment Commander Pat Finnegan of the Napanee/Kaladar detachment said that based on a four-year rolling average of statistics there is nothing standing out in Addington Highlands.

“None of the categories, such as Break and Enters, Domestic Assaults, etc., indicate any significant changes,” he said.

He did say that as the result of a six-month investigation by a drug unit made up of members of the detachment and others, into an alleged crystal meth operation, arrests were made this year, including that of one resident of Addington Highlands.

“Apart from that it has been quiet; nothing special has gone on aside from two fatalities from motor vehicle accidents, including an ATV collision and a tractor trailer accident in the fall,” he said.

He also said that as the result of consolidating the administrative team at the detachment headquarters in Napanee, which resulted in the Kaladar detachment no longer being open to the public, waiting lists for things like criminal checks have dropped dramatically, in some cases from a three-month wait to same-day service.

“I would also like to let Council know about a new program we are undertaking. We will be meeting once a month with professionals in social services, addictions, mental health, and others to see if we can't identify individuals and families who are at risk of getting into a situation that may end up involving police or other emergency services. By following a protocol and identifying families that are in that precarious state, we can approach them, as a group, and make them aware of the services that are available from all of us. The idea is to get upstream from situations. By the time police are normally involved they are way downstream. We will have more about this in the future. There is a similar program in Frontenac County,” Commander Finnegan said.

Massive Yard Sale on Canada Day

Councilor Fritsch informed Council that a group is planning a Highway 41 yard sale on Canada Day. People with properties along the highway will be encouraged to hold yard sales, and some larger lots will be used for groups sales as well.

“The plan is to run this all along the length of the highway, from Pembroke to Napanee,” Fritsch said.

Official Plan amendment

The township's planning consultant wrote to Council about a last-minute working change the Ministry of Municipal Affairs is seeking for the township's Official Plan update.

To a section limiting the creation of new lots to two new ones from a single large lot, unless a plan of subdivision process is undertaken, the words “As a general rule” are to be taken out.

“That means that even if someone owns a 200 or 500 acre lot, they can only create two new lots, and there will be no way around it,” said Reeve Hogg. “I don't think we want to do that.”

“What's the alternative if we say no to this?” said Councilor Fritsch.

“We have to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board,” said Hogg. “We need to find out how much that will cost.”

Staff will talk to the planner and get a sense of what it might cost if the township does not go along with the ministry demand and launches an appeal.

Too much roadwork?

A question came in to Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath from Councilor Kirby Thompson about the activity by the roads department on the paved Matawatchan Road last Saturday, when there was a mix of drizzle and freezing rain in the forecast.

“The truck passed by the road repeatedly, even though the road was bare,” said Thompson.

Rosenblath was anticipating the question. He handed out a copy of a document called Minimum Maintenance for Municipal Highways from the website of the Government of Ontario.

The document outlines the standard for the prevention of ice formation on roadways “preceding an alleged formation of ice on a roadway”.

Roads departments are expected to monitor the weather and “treat the roadway to prevent ice formation,” it says.

“But the road was clear,” said Thompson.

“And the crews were out to make sure they stayed that way,” said Rosenblath.

“I suggest that we need to communicate to the public that the crews are doing their job in these kinds of circumstances; that they are not out trying to get overtime pay when they are not needed,” said Councilor Tony Fritsch.

“The crews would rather be home with their families, I can assure you of that,” said Rosenblath, “but then again I would rather hear that the roads are too well maintained than that they are not maintained well enough.”

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