| Dec 06, 2012

Fire hall plans to be fine tuned before seeking bids

A proposed municipal complex on Hwy. 41 just south of Northbrook, which was originally slated to include a fire hall and municipal offices, has been scaled back.

A draft plan for a fire hall only was before Council this week. Questions remain about the use of a second floor mezzanine for office space, and about some of the other specifications for the building.

“What are we going to do next? Time is passing on this,” said Deputy Reeve Bill Cox.

Fire Chief Casey Cuddy said that before any decisions are made, “we need to fine tune the drawing.”

“We do need to come to a final design and then agree to work with it,” said Councilor Tony Fritsch.

A motion was passed asking Cuddy to fine tune the design and bring it back to the final meeting of the year, in Denbigh on December 17.

Council may then decide to use the final drawing as the basis for a set of architect's drawings, which will form the basis of a tender document. Alternatively they might opt to set out a request for proposal for a design-build project, based more loosely on the final drawings.

The budget for the project has also not been determined, but it will likely become the centrepiece of the budget deliberations for 2013 and perhaps beyond.

Grant application for Glastonbury Road Bridge – In what would have to be considered a long shot, Addington Highlands is applying for a grant from the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) to rebuild the one lane Retan Bridge on Glastonbury Road. The township is seeking about $540,000, about 1% of the $50 million from the Ontario-wide initiative. The population of the township is about .0015% percent of the Ontario total.

If successful, the province will cover 90% of the cost for the $600,000 project, and the township 10%.

Cost to retain Northbrook canteen pegged at $10,000 – In response to an inquiry from the Northbrook Legion, the recreation committee has looked in a preliminary way at what it would cost in materials to bring the canteen adjacent to the Skateboard park in Northbrook back to a useable state. The Legion said they would be interested in using the canteen and paying for its upkeep if the township is willing to halt the decline of the structure. Ever since the Blueberry Festival ceased to operate 9 years ago the canteen has had little or no use.

Councilor Tony Fritsch said that it would cost “$3,200 for roofing materials, $3,000 to $3,500 for water treatment. If you add on $1,500 for a covered porch, $500 for electrical and some money for new lock sets, it gets to about $10,000 to make it useable. If you are going to fix it up, you would have to double that.”

“That project might make for a Trillium grant application later on,” said Bill Cox.

“If we are going to do this, the question is why?” asked Reeve Henry Hogg.

“If we don’t spend the money, it won’t be usable and I hate to see us lose something that we have,” said Bill Cox. “I’ll make a motion that we contact the Legion and tell them these are our preliminary thoughts about cost and ask them what their thoughts are.”

The motion passed.

Playground equipment – Keep, fix or tear down

The Recreation Facilities Committee has completed an inventory of play structures (climbers, swing sets, etc.) that are owned by the township. Some of them need to be torn down, a number need to be repaired, and a few are in good shape.

Most of the equipment at the former Denbigh school is in poor shape and needs to be removed, with the exception of the large swing set, which will stay.

This is in spite of the fact that a number of years ago, 12-year-old Tony Fritsch (now the chair of the Recreation Facilities Committee) broke his leg so badly after falling off that swing set that he was forced to wear a full leg cast for several months.

“When I went to the hospital they were going to cut off my rubber boots to work on the break, but they were good boots so my dad wouldn’t let them, so they had to pull them off,” Fritsch said, before adding, “that was off the record.”

OMPF to be kind to AH – The Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund, a transfer of funds from the province to municipal governments that require support, is being changed. The impact of the change will be minimal to Addington Highlands, which received $1.338 million in 2012 and will receive $1.341 million in 2013. In the Northern and Rural Fiscal Circumstances index, Addington Highlands had a ranking of 9.9 out of 10, meaning the township faces the highest level of fiscal need and requires a continued high level of provincial support. Sort of a bad-news-is-good-news scenario.


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