| Jan 08, 2015

Fire hall occupied, but not technically ready

Over the Christmas holidays, fire crews have been readying the long anticipated new fire hall in Northbrook for use. The hall, which will serve the joint Kaladar/Barrie Fire Department, is mostly complete, Fire Chief Casey Cuddy told Addington Highlands Council at their meeting on Monday (January 5).

“The builders have some more work to do, but they did tell me it was substantially complete. Some of the guys built some benches over the holidays, stuff like that, and we have moved the trucks over. There are only a few things left in the old hall to move over,” Cuddy said. “Just before New Year's the crews were able to wash the hoses and dry them indoors on the racks in the new hall, something they could not do in the smaller old hall.”

“The concern I have is that we do not know whose hall it is right now,” said Councilor Bill Cox. “Is it the construction company’s hall? Is it our hall? Do we have any paperwork turning it over to us?”

Clerk Christine Reed said she has not received anything in writing or verbally from the construction company or from Jewell Engineering, who is overseeing the project for the township.

“Have you received anything in writing, turning it over to us or even saying it is substantially complete?” Cox asked Casey Cuddy.

“Nothing in writing; they just told me it was substantially complete,” he replied.

Reeve Henry Hogg said he would call Jewell Engineering to see if the building can be turned over to the township and to ensure that all the remaining work the construction company is supposed to do is in fact completed. Until then, plans to completely empty the old hall, disconnect the water and stop heating the building have been put on hold. A formal opening for the new hall will likely take place in the spring.

“We also need a sign for the hall,” said Bill Cox.

Cuddy said he would order one.

“It should say Addington Highlands Township, Kaladar-Barrie Fire Department, Northbook Hall, something like that,” said Cox.

Township supports grant application for transportation

Susan Andrew-Allan and Marlene Dacuk, from Land O'Lakes Community Services, (LOLCS) brought information about a grant program from the Ministry of Transportation to support pilot projects for community based transportation services. Using volunteer drivers, LOLCS has been running a program for township residents to access medical and other appointments in places such as Napanee and Kingston. Recently the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), which funds the Community Support Programs for seniors that LOLCS runs, informed them that they no longer could use LHIN's funding to support transportation for people under 60 years of age.

“The MTO grant program is for up to $100,000 per county, and I don't know if anyone is applying to serve other parts of Lennox and Addington,” said Susan Andrew-Allan, “but if possible we would like to fund a part-time dispatcher to work two or three days a week.”

“The township would not be running the program, would it?” asked Councilor Tony Fritsch.

“No, we would run it, the township would only have to handle the money,” said Andrew-Allan.

Council agreed in principle to support the project and Andrew-Allan said she would work on the application and come back to Council at their next meeting on January 19 in Denbigh to finalize it, as it is due at the end of January.

$2,000 request from NAEC Outdoor Learning Centre

Sarah Sproule, a teacher at North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne, gave her annual update on the facilities and programs that NAEC is offering at their Outdoor Learning Centre, which has been supported over the years by the township and a number of community groups.

Canoeing, camping, snowshoeing, archery and other activities are offered through the center, which makes use of the extensive acreage that is owned by NAEC behind the building on Hwy. 41 as well as at Bon Echo Park and other off-school locations.

Sproule said that among plans for 2015 are the purchase of more show shoes as well as participation in the first annual National Archery in the Schools Program competition, which takes place in April.

In the past the township has supported the Outdoor Centre with a $1,000 donation each year, but pointing out that they received $2,000 from North Frontenac Township last year, in addition to support from the Conservationists of Frontenac-Addington, and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Sproule said, “The request is for $2,000; but of course we will take whatever you are able to give us.”

Council accepted Sproule's presentation and deferred the funding request to their budget process, which will be completed in early May.

MVCA increase easy to handle

The Mississippi Valley Conservation Association (MVCA) receives funding from its members based on population, which means that the increase of just under 2% in 2015 translates into $75 from Addington Highlands, which will be paying $4,109 this year. That's a far cry from the MVCA’s levy to the City of Ottawa, which is up by over $90,000 to a total of $2.3 million.

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