| Nov 07, 2013

Waste management – second thoughts

As reported in the article on the Oct. 21st council meeting, council took a cautious approach in response to a proposed letter to the Ministry of the Environment by resident Paul Isaacs concerning the increasing cost of environmental monitoring of township waste sites.

However, at the beginning of this week's council meeting, Councilor Tony Fritsch said “We might have been too hasty with this. I think it is worthwhile for us to raise this with the ministry. The costs are high and the least we could ask for is an explanation about why all the monitoring needs to be done. I think we should set up a meeting with the ministry to talk about our waste monitoring costs. At the very least we should hear from them about it.”

“It always seems that depending on whom they send out to look at things, you get a different story,” said Deputy Reeve Bill Cox. “I suppose it would be worth talking to them about the costs, if only to get a clear explanation.”

Council passed a motion instructing Clerk Jack Pauhl to request a meeting with the MoE.

Blanket support for solar

Ian Rowberry, representing Queen Street Solar, a co-operative venture that sells shares in solar generation projects to small and larger scale investors, came to council to talk about a project they are working on at a location just south of Kaladar and another potential project in Cloyne. These projects are covered under the new rules that were just announced on October 9.

At 500 megawats, the projects are 50 times larger than the MicroFIT projects that have become common throughout the rural landscape on rooftops, backyards and fields. But they are themselves dwarfed by the huge solar farm projects that are also coming on stream. They can be accommodated on a five - acre parcel of land. They also come with requirements for 20 metre setbacks from property lines and vegetative buffers so they should have little or no impact on neighbouring properties.

The awarding of contracts for these projects is being done on a competitive basis, and points are awarded for support from local municipalities. What Ian Rowberry was asking for from Addington Highlands was a blanket motion declaring township support for rooftop and ground mount solar projects.

“The resolution will not grant final approval for any specific project. The township will still have approval authority,” said Rowberry. “It is just a general statement of support on the township's part.”

Reeve Hogg introduced a blanket motion, which will last for one year, and it was approved.

Reeve writes to Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Back in May, Reeve Hogg wrote a letter to the premier asking for clarification about the impact of the land settlements for the Algonquin Land Claim on property taxes and values. A number of large parcels of land along Highway 41 are included in the land claim's draft Agreement in Principle.

Hogg received a quick response from the premier's office, saying that the letter had been forwarded to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, David Zimmer. Since then Reeve Hogg has not heard back from Zimmer or the ministry.

“I figured I should write directly to the minister since I haven't heard anything,” Hogg told council as they read through the draft of a letter he has prepared.

In the letter Hogg talks about the interests of Addington Highlands residents in the face of the claim.

“The local people have created the infrastructure that serves the area by years of hard work over many generations and deserve the respect of having a say in the future of the area. The lack of openness in the entire [land claim] process is a worry to local people and can only be repaired by including them in all future negotiations by having a choice at the table,” he wrote.

Council asked that Hogg include a request for a meeting in the final draft of the letter.

50/50 offer on Beatty's Curve Road

After a few back and forth letters between the township and Mrs. Gardner, who lives on a piece of un-maintained township road, Council has decided to offer to cover 50% of the cost of gravel and grading on the road, up to a maximum cost of $2250.

All I want for Christmas is a brand new truck

After agreeing to purchase a truck for the work use of Public Works Manager Royce Rosenblath, Council has decided to purchase the truck from Bence Motors at a cost of $40,224. The Bence Motors bid was not the lowest, but the offers from seven retailers were all quite close, and Council decided to stick with a local business under the circumstances. The truck will likely be delivered within four weeks, just in time for Christmas.

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