| May 09, 2013

Local budget up by 3% in Addington Highlands

With little muss or fuss, Addington Highlands Council approved their 2013 budget at a council meeting in Flinton on Monday afternoon. With no members of the public in attendance, council passed a motion to adopt a levy of $2.27 million for local expenses in 2013, an increase of $77,000 or 3.1% over the 2012 local expenditures locally. With Lennox and Addington County taxes going up by a similar amount, the impact of municipal tax increases to local ratepayers in AH will be minimal in 2013.

The increase in 2013 is significantly lower than a total increase of over 7% in 2012, which included an 11% increase in local taxes.

This is the first year of a new four-year property assessment cycle, so individual ratepayers, particularly those who live in waterfront properties, will likely see an increase, while non-waterfront dwellers may indeed see a municipal tax decrease. Waterfront property assessments continue to rise at a higher rate than non-waterfront assessments, which continues to shift the burden of local taxation – a trend that has been pronounced in recent years throughout the region.

Reeve warned to keep his opinions to himself

After making comments at a recent meeting of Council, which were reported on by the Frontenac News, Reeve Hogg and his council received a letter from Brian Crane, Ontario Chief Negotiator to the Algonquin Land Claim.

“I believe that a number of the concerns raised in that report can be addressed with the information below,” wrote Crain.

Among the points that Crain made were that local municipalities will have no obligation to “establish or maintain public roads on settlement lands” and that “Algonquin land owners will be in the same position as other private landowners as regards fire protection services.”

One of the other points Crain made related to the cost of municipal zoning for settlement lands in the agreement.

“The process to provide settlement land parcels with initial official plan and zoning designations will be addressed in the Final Agreement and Implementation Plan to be developed after the AIP [Agreement in Principle]. We do not intend that such implementation will fall on municipalities,” Crain wrote.

“None of the responses change very much, because the AIP is vague on so many points,” said Hogg.

“The key word in the planning clause, for me, is the word 'intend',” said Councilor Adam Snider. “They do not 'intend' for there to be costs, but they do not say there will be no costs. 'Intend' is not the same as 'no'.”

“I suppose we should prepare a formal written response to this. I'm not saying the reports in the paper were wrong, but they seem to be pretty sensitive about this,” said Reeve Hogg.

Hogg then recounted that he had a 30-minute conversation with Norm Lemke, the co-chair of the Municipal Advisory Committee. “Lemke said I should be careful what I say, because we don't want the agreement to fall apart because the whole thing might end up before the Supreme Court and it might be much worse for us in the end. I personally don't see how it can be worse, but there you have it.”

There are a number of parcels of land in Addington Highlands that are included in the AIP, including two larger pieces just north of Bon Echo Park on either side of Highway 41.

Municipal Hazardous Waste for AH residents

At the Cloyne Waste site at 3444 Road 506, a shared site for Addington Highlands and North Frontenac residents, there will be a Hazardous Waste Depot available between May 22 and September 25. The depot will be open on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday (1:30 to 6pm) and the 1st Saturday (1:30 to 6pm) of each month. Materials to be accepted include: automotive; antifreeze, used motor oil, gas, diesel, camp fuels, oil filters; aerosol containers such as hairspray, spray paint, etc; garden pesticides and fungicides, weed killers, pool chemicals, etc; household paints, stains, primers, single use and recyclable batteries, corrosive cleaners, etc.; mercury devices (thermometers, switches); and personal care items such as medications for humans and pets, creams, pills, etc..

For a complete list look to addingtonhighlands.ca in the coming days. An ad will also be running in the coming weeks. 

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.