| Dec 04, 2013

Council sceptical of Weslemkoon requests

Jon Keeble, the president of the Weslemkoon Property

Owners Association, appeared before Addington Highlands Council to talk about a number of concerns, the main item being dump hours.

Properties on the north end of the lake are served by the Hartsmere dump and those at the south end by the Weslemkoon dump.

“Right now the two dumps are open on alternate Sundays. I’m hear to argue that they should both be open on Sundays, at least during the peak summer season of mid-June to mid-September,” said Keeble. “I think that would stop much of the bag tossing at the gate that goes on now.”

Keeble estimated that the cost of a part-time dump attendant to cover the extra hours would be up to $4,200. “As a group we pay $1 million in taxes and we don’t receive much from the township,” he said.

Reeve Henry Hogg said the township alternates hours at the sites in order to maximize the efficient use of its trained waste site attendants.

“We have never had much luck with part-time attendants in the past. Often they didn’t show up,” he said, “and I don’t think the vandalism we have seen at the Weslemkoon site has anything to do with Sunday hours.”

“I’m not sure either,” said Keeble, “there is a lot of anger out there over taxes.”

Mr. Keeble was not aware, until he was told at the meeting, that a recycle bin had been set fire to at the Weslemkoon dump last month and will cost $20,000 to replace.

MoE says decision pending on Denbigh waste site

The township has been working for several years to get approval to re-open the Denbigh Waste site, and an application for a Certificate of Approval from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MoE) has been with the ministry for over a year.

During a presentation about waste site monitoring that came about at the request of Council, three MoE representatives came to Council. They explained how the monitoring works, but added one bit of new information. A response from the ministry regarding the Denbigh site should be available within two months.

Curious, scary numbers in asset management report:

Council did not seem to know how to respond to a draft asset management report that was completed by a Toronto consultant with little input from township staff or Council.

The report looked at all the fixed assets owned by the township – municipal buildings, roads and bridges, trucks and equipment, etc. and put a lifespan and a replacement value on each item. It then put a dollar figure on how much it will cost, over time, to keep the township's infrastructure from deteriorating.

“We need to have this report done in order to apply for infrastructure grants from the Province,” said Clerk/Treasurer Jack Pauhl.

“Yes, but what are we supposed to do with it?” asked Councilor Helen Yanch. “We can’t afford to adopt it.”

“I read this and it paints a pretty grim picture. But I realise that if you did the same thing 20 years ago it would paint the same grim picture, and we are still here,” said Councilor Tony Fritsch. “It says we have to raise taxes for capital upgrades by 6.35% per year, every year. It’s not going to happen.”

“Not unless you want to raise taxes by 10%,” said Reeve Hogg.

“Not next year,” said Deputy Reeve Bill Cox, referring to the upcoming municipal election.

Council decided to send some corrected information to the consultant and then wait for the final report before deciding how to deal with it.

“We will need a special meeting for this; it will not be a ten-minute conversation,” said Tony Fritsch.

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