| Mar 09, 2016

Proposal for Deerock Lake campsites

Justin Punchard from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), and Terry Murphy from Quinte Conservation appeared before Addington Highlands Council on Monday to talk about Deerock Lake.

Quinte operates a boat launch at the southeast corner of the lake, which is located to the west of Flinton. The lake is surrounded by Crown Land and has been a popular camping and fishing spot for many years. This has raised some concerns because in recent years campers have become negligent. Many of the campsites are covered in litter, and there is glass and other garbage strewn about. Some of the islands on the lake have had all the trees removed for firewood.

This winter, Punchard and another MNRF staff member took a detailed tour of the lake. They came up with a plan to develop 26 approved campsites on the lake and to ban camping everywhere else. They also gathered electronic data in order to place the 26 sites on a map accurately.

“The model we are thinking of following is similar to what North Frontenac does with North Frontenac Parkland,” said Punchard. “If we can get out there and clean up the mess in order to start over again, and then keep camping to the 26 sites and eliminate camping on all but two of the islands, which would remove 10 sites, it should be good for the lake and the campers, and give the small islands a chance to recover.”

Terry Murphy said that it would not be the difficult to set up an online booking system for campsites, and down the road it might be an idea to charge for camping to build up some money to invest back in maintenance of the sites.

At this point the township is only being informed about the plan as part of a consultation process. Although North Frontenac runs Frontenac Parklands themselves under a land use permit from the MNRF, the most likely option for Deerock would be for Quinte Conservation to take on that role since they already manage the lake and operate a dam at one end.

Punchard said there are 30 or more volunteers from the ministry who are willing to work on a cleanup project this spring, joining volunteers from Conservationists of Frontenac Addington (COFA) and members of the Frontenac Addington Trappers Council.

“We are hoping we can get free dumping from the township for the materials we collect. Perhaps as well the township could bring one of the large bins from a waste site to the shoreline at the public boat launch when the clean up is taking place.”

Deputy Reeve Helen Yanch, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Reeve Henry Hogg, said the free dumping will be easy but moving a bin might prove to be more of a problem.

Land O'Lakes Lions - Alex Chisholm, Chair of the Land O'Lakes Lions Club, came to Council to request that Fire Hall Road in Northbrook be renamed Lions Hall Road since the fire hall has been replaced and will be torn down and the Lions Hall is located on the road. He also asked that the township look at a new streetlight on Highway 41.

Council voted to approve the road name change in principle, and will begin a process of public notice with a view towards making the change this year. As far as streetlights are concerned, it is a matter for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), which has jurisdiction over the highway. Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath recommended that the Lions contact the MTO directly with a request for more lighting.

Flinton Jamboree

Andy Anderson appeared before council on behalf of the Flinton Jamboree. He asked if the township could have their insurer include a rider in the township's policy to cover the Jamboree, and said the Jamboree would pay the added cost.

Deputy Mayor Yanch said that the insurance company recommended against this, but “they have an insurance product that is designed for public events like the Jamboree and ask that you contact them yourself. We can provide the contact information.”

Anderson then said that he feels the township does not provide enough support for the Jamboree, or other events.

“This township doesn't support anything,” he said.

Yanch said that the council does provide support when it can, and pointed out the township donates the property for the Jamboree.”

“Some groups apply for grants,” said Councillor Tony Fritsch. “You can ask for money.”

Joint meeting

Council received a request from the Township of North Frontenac to hold a joint meeting about the budget for the joint fire department.

North Frontenac is concerned about dwindling reserves in the department's budget. Tony Fritsch, one of the Addington Highlands reps to the Joint Fire Committee, said he is aware of the issue, but Addington Highlands is facing a budget crunch.

“It is getting to the point where little townships can hardly afford to do anything,” he said.

A meeting will be scheduled for later this spring.

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