| Jan 10, 2013

At their first meeting of 2013, Addington Highlands Council consider at least two items that could have a significant impact on this year's budget.

Fire Chief Casey Cuddy presented the preliminary architectural plans for a new fire hall in Northbrook. The plans could form the basis of a design/build contract for the fire hall, but the all-important question of cost has not been formally addressed at this point.

Councillors looked at the plans and made suggestions, which Cuddy said will be incorporated into a final set of plans that he will present at the next meeting.

“I think these will work, but we will need a site plan to determine how this building will fit onto the property that we have for it.” said Cuddy.

Property Manager for Township Community Centres

The Addington Highlands Community Centre in Denbigh has become a legacy project for the current Council. It is already the satellite office for the Lakelands Family Health Team, the home of the Denbigh Library, and will soon be housing a cafe, and will have a number of other community uses.

Until now, it has been members of Council who have been overseeing the operation of the building, and when the job description for a caretaker for the building was being developed by Councillor Tony Fritsch, he quickly realised that the building will require someone familiar with building maintenance as well as a number of provincial regulations that pertain to multi-purpose public buildings.

“It really is a building manager that is needed. I think we might consider a one year term contract, so if the person is not suitable or we want to re-think the job we will have that option,” said Fritsch about a proposal he was putting forward to establish the new township staff position to look after all the community halls.

“It's most likely going to cost about $50,000 per year,” said Reeve Henry Hogg.

Council approved a motion to accept the position in principle and will consider the matter during budget deliberations.

Extended health benefits – Reeve Hogg asked Council if they would like him to get a quote on extended health insurance for township employees who have worked for the township for over 20 years. The insurance would cover the employees while they are between the ages of 60 and 75, after they have retired from their job with the township.

“I can have a look at this if Council wants me to,” said Hogg.

There are only two employees in position to receive the benefit, if Council goes for it, clerk Jack Pauhl, and roads superintendent Royce Rosenblath.

“What about members of Council who have sat for over 20 years,” asked Councillor Adam Snider, looking over at Reeve Hogg.

“I'm getting so close to 75 that it really doesn't matter,” said Hogg.

Council supported pursuing the idea and Hogg will seek some pricing.

$20,000 contract to Jewel Engineering – The township has received a provincial grant for just over $20,000 to complete an asset management plan.

“There is no point putting this to tender since everyone knows how much money we have available for it,” said Henry Hogg.

Hogg then said that Jewell engineering of Belleville has prepared reports on the state of the townships’ roads and bridges in recent years, so they probably already have most of the necessary information available to them.

“Are you suggesting we just have Jewell do it,” asked Councillor Helen Yanch.

“They have the history, they know the roads,” said Hogg.

A motion to go directly to Jewell to prepare the asset management plan was approved in a recorded vote. There were no nay votes.

Navigo to track township equipment

Royce Rosenblath reported that a Lennox and Addington County initiative to install GPS tracking software on all roads equipment will be in place soon. The software will enable each vehicle to be located at all times, to track the amount of material being spread on roads and much more.

“We keep good logs but this will give detailed and accurate data that would stand up in court, if anything ever came to that,” said Rosenblath.

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