Jule Koch Brison | Oct 18, 2012
MPAC - Cecilia Buelow of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) updated council on the property assessment increases that will be phased in over the next four years. On average, residences not on waterfront will see an increase of just under 6%, which Buelow said was well below the provincial average of 18%, while waterfront residences will have assessment increases of 27% on average. The overall residential assessment increase in the township is 15%.
Any decreases in assessment will not be phased in over four years, but will take effect immediately.
Buelow encouraged the councilors to advise ratepayers to use the expanded “About My Property” feature on the MPAC website in order to compare their assessments to those of similar properties. She also said that ratepayers must substantiate any complaints about unfair assessments in writing by April 1, 2013, otherwise they will lose their right to appeal until the following year.
Addington Highlands Community Centre - Local resident Joan McLeod approached council about setting up a bake shop/café in the new Addington Highlands Community Centre – Denbigh, which would be located in the room next to the library. She would provide her own liability insurance and has already contacted the Public Health Unit in Cloyne. She assured council that she will meet the health unit’s requirements. The township would need to do basic finishing (drywall, floor, etc.) to the space.
Councilor Adam Snider wondered whether council should publicize the opportunity in order to give anyone else who might be interested a chance at the venture. Council agreed to place an ad in the newspaper (see the ad on page 17).
Deputy Reeve Bill Cox said that council should also have a cost estimate for the renovations before making a decision. Councilor Tony Fritsch said he would provide the estimate.
The Meals on Wheels program - which is run by Land O’Lakes Community Services, requested a key to the Denbigh hall, where the meals are prepared, in order to reduce work for the custodian. The township supports the program by waiving the hall rental fees and Councilor Fritsch said the program has expanded by 4 or 5 times the number of meals prepared since it started being run out of the hall.
However, Council refused the request for the key as they do not give keys to anyone else who uses the hall, but will allow LOLCS to put an additional freezer in the basement.
Surveillance cameras - will be installed at the Hartsmere Waste Disposal site in order to combat the ongoing problem of waste being dumped at the gates. Roads Supervisor Royce Rosenblath noted that as the site’s entrance is on the highway, dumpers could also be charged by the OPP in addition to being fined by the township.
Tappin’s Bay boat ramp - The Mazinaw Property Owners Association (MPOA) have requested once again that the township improve the Tappin’s Bay boat ramp and dock, which is the only access for waterbound properties on Mazinaw Lake, in order to alleviate severe ongoing crowding problems.
However, Tappin’s Bay itself is in not in Addington Highlands, but in North Frontenac Township, and both councils have been fielding requests for solutions from the MPOA and debating the problem for years.
North Frontenac decided years ago to back away from the boat launch, but on Monday night Addington Highlands debated approaching them to reopen the negotiations, though they eventually decided against doing that.
Councilor Snider noted that the problem is indeed severe, that Addington Highlands has many ratepayers on the lake, and that the increase in MPAC assessments will cause the waterfront ratepayers to complain even more acutely that they get no services for their taxes. He asked if the township has any property on the lake that would be suitable for a public boat launch – just a launch, not a docking facility, he emphasized.
In the end, Council passed two motions. The first was to reply to the MPOA saying that AH has no authority at Tappin’s Bay as it’s not in the township, and the second motion was to search for a suitable spot for a boat launch.
Winter Road Maintenance - Royce Rosenblath noted that there is concern in the community about Carillion Canada being the new provider of winter maintenance for provincial roads in the area. (Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 41) He said residents are wondering if it might take a long time before they’re plowed out. Carillion has contracts with the Ministry of Transportation for all summer and winter maintenance on some 6,000 km of roads in Ontario.
However Rosenblath said that maintenance standards have not dropped and he is confident that the MTO will have their inspectors out in full force to ensure that the company plows the roads in proper time. He said Carillion would be fined heavily by the ministry if they did not fulfill the terms of their contracts.
Long-service awards - Long-service awards have already been presented to Ward 2 firefighters, but not to Ward 1 firefighters. Reeve Hogg said that is because records weren’t kept so they do not know the actual number of years of service. The fire department will draw up a list with the best guesses as to the number of years of service and will work towards presenting the awards at the Christmas banquet.