Jeff Green | Jun 08, 2016
Much noise on noise
The township's noise bylaw prohibits amplified music out of doors. A contentious proposal to suspend it for three events at Mazinaw Lakeside Resort this summer, on July 2, July 30, and either August 20 or September 3, turned into a debate between Lori Ellerbeck, one of the resort owners, and Susan Delaney, Rod Trute and Elizabeth Russell, cottage owners on Mazinaw Lake.
The resort, which is located on the east side of Highway 41, across from Mazinaw Lake, has hosted a number of rock and pop music events in recent years, much to the consternation of some of the lakefront property owners.
“We are only talking about three nights out of 365 in the year,” said Ellerbeck. She said that she had learned three days before the meeting that opponents of her proposal had written to Council, so she quickly started up a petition, collecting 25 signatures.
When she approached Council, Susan Delaney pointed out that a number of names on the list were people who lived some distance away from the resort, and would not be affected by the noise in their own homes.
“To sanction these events allows a private business to profit at the expense of residential ratepayers,” said Delaney. “It is not just three nights; it is three nights during long weekends. Our family and friends can only come up on long weekends. The noise is so loud that we cannot enjoy a campfire; we are held hostage in our homes with the windows closed. We can't enjoy our property.”
Elizabeth Russell said, “I agree with what Susan said wholeheartedly. It is a troublesome situation. It is extremely noisy, extremely disruptive.”
Dave Deacon, who lives next to the Mazinaw Resort, said he supports the live music events because they help the resort stay open.
“It does a lot for the community and is the only restaurant left on that side of the Mazinaw,” he said.
Lori Ellerbeck said she wonders why Brown's Campground, which is located at the far end of the lake, not far from her resort, is able to hold their own events without trouble, and don't even apply for noise bylaw exemptions.
“They bring in the exact same band” she said, “the same band.”
Councilor Tony Fritsch proposed a motion that Council approve one event.
Councilor Bill Cox said that the matter, which has come before Council in years past, “keeps haunting us .. Two years ago we approved one event; last year two. What needs to happen is the stage needs to be turned around to face away from the lake. I will support one event, only if the stage is turned around.”
Fritsch said he would accept Cox's amendment to his motion.
Pointing out that Ellerbeck had said she has already booked bands for July 2 and July 30, Deputy Mayor Helen Yanch said she would not support the single event motion.
The motion was approved, on a vote of 3-2, with Yanch and Reeve Hogg voting against it.
Noise bylaw exemption for Flinton Jamboree
“Timing is everything,” said Councilor Cox when the next item on the agenda was a request for an exemption to the township's noise bylaw for the July/August long weekend for the Flinton Jamboree.
“This is for three days but it is only one event,” Cox added. “No one has ever complained about it.”
“I live near there and I hear it; I certainly hear it, and I am not a fan of country music,” said Helen Yanch. “I'm not going to oppose it because it is good for the community, but I want it to be known that I hear it.”
“I hear it also,” said Cox.
Council granted the noise bylaw exemption, as well as a subsequent request to waive the rental fee for the use of the Flinton Recreation Centre and grounds for the event.
Robert Sprague was given permission to take a number of bicycles that were left in the Vennachar dump, with a view towards fixing them up and giving them to some of the children in Denbigh.
Free Methodist Church rebuild
Council expressed its support for the congregation of the Vennachar Free Methodist Church in their intention to rebuild the church, which has been in continuous use since 1894. The potential of a funding application to the Canada 150 Infrastructure Fund Intake 2 is being considered for the project.
Council approved the purchase of a backhoe from John's Equipment of Frankford for the price of $125,445, minus $12,000 for the trade-in of the township's old backhoe. It was the lowest bid.
On the recommendation of Fire Chief Cuddy, Council approved the purchase of new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units from AJ Stone at a price of $177,350 for the Kaladar Barrie department and $80,668 for the Denbigh department.
Adam Young from Seckler, Ross and Perry, presented his findings after reviewing the township’s consolidated financial statements for 2015, and found no serious issues in the statements.
Inspector Pat Finnegan, detachment commander for Napanee/Loyalist/Kaladar, brought the quarterly incident data to Council. Year over year the incident numbers were similar, although the number of constable hours in the township were down from about 185 in 2015 to about 160 in the first quarter of 2016, which could translate in savings in billing down the road.
Finnegan also talked about what he described as a successful first few months for the “Situation Table” initiative that he has been co-chairing in Napanee.
Representatives from police, social and health services agencies meet weekly in Napanee. Participants bring forward the names of individuals that they have determined are in crisis. If the case fits a strict set of criteria, the agencies send teams to see the person and offer them comprehensive services to help them take steps to improve their circumstances. The idea is to intervene before any incident leading to injury, arrest or any other negative outcome takes place
“We have dealt with 29 individuals so far, and there have been success stories. Some people say ‘go away’, but some are receptive. The other change is that as a group that meets each week, we have developed a better understanding of the work everyone else does. We are becoming a team, which is exciting,” he said.
The Situation Table deals with individuals from Napanee and rural Lennox and Addington County.