| May 05, 2011

Addington Highlands brings in a budget increase.

Addington Highlands ratepayers will pay just under 8% more tax for local services in 2011.

The increase in the local levy, to $1.936 million from $1.8 million in 2010, comes about partly as the result of a decrease in transfer payments from the province under the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund. Increased fuel costs alone will cost the township about $40,000 in 2011, and the cost of waste management and recycling is up as well.

The township will be continuing to spend money on the Denbigh medical centre/schoolhouse project to the tune of $80,000, marginally more then the $75,000 they spent last year to purchase the former Denbigh school for the project.

Library costs are also up significantly, to $53,000 from $30,000 last year.

Local taxation makes up only part of the municipal tax bill that Addington Highlands ratepayers receive. Lennox and Addington County taxes are another major piece, about 40%, and since they are up about by only 2% this year, the average ratepayer in Addington Highlands will see an increase in taxes in the 5% range.

Lennox and Addington (L&A) County was the recipient of some tax relief as the province uploaded some social services costs, which could have been used to further offset increases in the local townships, but the county is embarking on a $4.6 million building project in Napanee to house all social services offered in L&A as well as Prince Edward County.

“We are doing a lot of things that we need to do, and they all cost money,” said Addington Highlands Reeve (and L&A County Warden) Henry Hogg of the township and county budgets, “so in the end I am satisfied.”

Addington Highlands Council approved the budget at their meeting on Monday in Flinton, and they will be formally adopting it by bylaw at their next meeting in Denbigh.

Unhappy gravel pit owner -

Karen Malcolm attended the council meeting to deliver a letter from her husband Gord. The Malcolms own a gravel pit and equipment operation on Hwy. 41 near Denbigh. The letter said that the township does make use of their services even when there is emergency work located in the vicinity of their pit. The incident that sparked the letter was a recent washout on Buckshot Lake Road, for which equipment and gravel was brought in from Danford Construction, which has a pit on the other side of the township.

“Who made that decision?” asked Malcolm in his letter. “In an emergency situation material should come from the nearest licensed pit, not Danford's pit, west of Kaladar. Since Royce [Rosenblath] has been road superintendent he has gotten material once from us that we can recall. There was also some hoe ramming done on the Buckshot Lake Road by Danford this winter. Was that put out to tender? For some reason, Royce seems to cater to Danford ... Maybe council should look at expenditures over the past years.”

“All can say about the washout on Buckshot Lake Road was that Royce phoned me at 6 or 7 in the morning, and I told him to go ahead and get who he could get,” said Reeve Hogg in response. “I know that's not what you people want to hear but that's what happened. Danford's has a lot of equipment.”

“They could have brought their equipment to our pit and got gravel,” said Karen Malcolm in response.

Reeve Hogg told Karen Malcolm she should make sure their services are on the township’s vendor list.

“We've done work in the past,” she said. “Wouldn't you take the closest person?” she asked.

“If I was aware of it,” said Deputy Reeve Bill Cox.

Karen Malcolm said she would send a price list to the township office for gravel and equipment rental.

Questions about grading – Bill Cox told Roads superintendent Royce Rosenblath that a number of residents have approached him about the quality of the grading done by the roads department. “People are complaining that there are no crowns on the roads and that the grader is not getting rid of the potholes,” Cox said.

“This time of year it is pretty hard with potholes. If they are deep you are not going to get them out in the first grade. I've heard the same story as you about the crowns, but everything is so soft that if you pulled all that into the middle you would have a mess at the edge of the road,” said Rosenblath.

Military moving in – Military training, involving 350 – 500 people and equipment, will be taking place on Irvin Road north of Bon Echo. The training will take place behind an airstrip located near Irvin Lake.


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