A beaver dam failure washed out part of Hughes Landing Road in Addington Highlands Monday night but as of 10am Tuesday morning, the Township roads department had it back in action, said Reeve Henry Hogg.
“I just talked to the roads supervisor (Brett Reavie) and he told me they were just putting the finishing touches on,” said Hogg. “They worked through the night.”
Hogg said the reason for the washout was the failure of a beaver dam on Crown Land.
“The dam was on Crown Land, which means we’re responsible for fixing it,” he said.
“This eliminates Household Hazardous Waste Day as we know it,” Mayor Frances Smith said at the regular Central Frontenac Council meeting Tuesday afternoon in Sharbot Lake.
Central has been holding the annual day for several years and it was designed to clear out all sorts of ‘hazardous’ waste like old pain and oil from barns and garages around the Township.
It did quite well at that but the problem was that it was expensive.
In a report to Council, acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong pointed out that in 2018, 380 vehicles came in to dump hazardous waste. That ended up costing the Township $24,072.49 (invoiced cost of $37,000 minus $12,927.51 in rebates). And that doesn’t include staff overtime.
If everyone in the Township took a load of household hazardous waste to Kingston for disposal, the cost would have been $14,198.50. (For the previous three years, the day has averaged 389 vehicles per year).
If all residents took a load to South Frontenac, the cost would have been $19,450.
Armstrong said that as it stands now, residents can take hazardous waste to Kingston or South Frontenac. South Frontenac is a bit more expensive but he said they seem open to negotiation.
There is also a chance that North Frontenac facilities could be made available to Central residents.
So for this year at least, residents who want to dispose of such dangerous materials are to go to the Township office in Sharbot Lake, fill out a form and take their waste to Kingston or South Frontenac.
However, the Township will pick up the tab for it (gas excluded).
“It’s already in the budget (for worst case scenario),” said Armstrong.
“If we need to re-instate Household Hazardous Waste Day, I’m sure we’ll hear about it,” said Smith. “I just can’t save up enough waste every year though.
“Maybe we might look at doing it every two years.”
“I think this is great,” said Coun. Nicki Gowdy. “I think it will catch on when people realize they can go whenever they want rather than having to wait every year.”
Dep. Mayor Victor Heese suggested a drop off site at Wemp Road or Oso, trucking the waste to Kingston once a month might be an option.
“It wouldn’t be quite that simple,” said Armstrong. “We’d have to have the proper licence and designated areas for it at our waste sites.
“But it could be a possibility.”
Who knew it could be that simple?
When Dorothy Gray came to Council asking for a culvert to alleviate flooding problems in her driveway on Long Lake Road, it sounded like she expected an arguement.
“I’ve told a couple of people but nothing’s been done,” she said. “It’s a big puddle and it freezes over.”
Mayor Frances Smith asked acting Public Works Manager David Armstrong if the Township installed culverts in these situations.
Armstrong replied that generally, they put them in for new construction but when something like this is brought to their attention, they usually take care of it.
“Especially if it’s beneficial to our infrastructure,” he said.
Council directed staff to have a look at the matter.
Grants for rinks
Council gave its blessing for staff to help the Kennebec Recreation Committee to apply for a Hydro 1 grant to be put towards rink renovations in Arden and to look at projects that might qualify for Ontario Trillium Fund grants such as the (proposed) rink in Sharbot Lake.
At their meeting in Sydenham on Tuesday Night (April 2) South Frontenac Council released the funds that were on hold in the 2019 budget for the Gilmour Point washroom/change house/shelter.
The cost estimate for the project by Hughes Downey Architects is $225,00 to $250,000 plus HST and includes mechanical/ electrical, ventilation, lighting, power and building.
The estimated does not include septic, well and pump system or electrical services but these costs will fall within the overall budget for the project, for which $450,000 has been budgeted all told
The 2017 and 2018 approved capital budgets included amounts of $20,000 and $150,000 respectively for the project. An additional amount of $280,000 was included in the 2019 capital budget submission.
“We had a meeting with the rec committee and they were quite pleased with the changes,” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth.
Public Works Manager Marks Segsworth said the architect’s fees would be “in the neighbourhood of $20,000.”
Council rejects motion to oppose development service charge changes
A motion brought forth by Coun. Ross Sutherland opposing changes to development services charges was defeated at South Frontenac’s regular Council meeting Tuesday night in Sydenham.
Sutherland’s motion stemmed from a similar motion in Peel Region, which is concerned that provincial government changes to development charges legislation may eliminate the charges altogether. Peel is concerned that without development charges, water bills will rise to pay for water and wastewater to new houses.
The South Frontenac motion read in part: “Moved that the Township of South Frontenac believes that growth should pay for itself through development charges and that development services charges are critical to help South Frontenac pay for needed new infrastructure to accommodate growth, roads and fire halls and
“Further, that any changes to development fees that would move new development water servicing costs to water rates would have significant negative effect on water system users, particularly those on small water systems like in South Frontenac, and also adding a significant block to further development in our hamlets . . .”
The motion further requested that letters be sent to the Premier, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Leader of the Opposition, AMO and other Ontario municipalities.
“I won’t be supporting this,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal. “Development services said it would be handled through them.”
“If we’re going through a process of review, aren’t we putting the cart before the horse?” said Dep. Mayor Ron Sleeth.
“I do support this, we need to be proactive,” said Coun. Randy Ruttan.
$20 per diem
Council approved a $20 per diem for public committee of adjustment members to attend site visits outside of their district.
Generally, both public and Council committee members visit sites within their district and are compensated at $50 per meeting and $0.55 per kilometer to attend site visits and meetings.
The out of district site visits would be done at the request of the director of development services (Claire Dodds).
“I think this is getting to a slippery slope,” said Mayor Ron Vandewal, but if it’s done at the request of the planner, I can support it.”
Council has directed staff to develop an arrangement whereby Central Frontenac residents will be able to make use of the South Frontenac Hazardous Waste site on Keeley Road, provided that all costs incurred by extending use of the site will be 100% recovered.
Central Frontenac staff approached South Frontenac to see if it is possible, and the contractor who handles the waste, Brendar, said there is extra capacity to handle more volume.
Details regarding how billing will be handled has been left to staff to work out.
Ken Arney does not expect Central Frontenac Township to pull out the large culvert that they put in to allow water from Dead Creek to pass under the Henderson Road a few metres from his home, just because the culvert and the rocks that are holding it in place are jutting onto his property.
He would like to get paid some compensation for the land that has effectively been taken by the township, and he would also like the township to re-install the fence that was pulled down in order to do the work. But mostly he would like some acknowledgement that the township should have shown him some more respect.
“I never heard anything from before they started, not until I began seeing equipment arriving in the last week of November. Then, I saw that the survey stake that marked the border between mine and my neighbours property had been buried, and that the fence marking the border between his property and the township property was gone. That’s when I started asking questions.”
“When I asked the workers what was going on, they told me that they would remove any of the material that was on my property,” said Arney, in an interview at this house this week.
Arney said that he called Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith the next day on Saturday, December 1st.
Frances Smith does not recall exactly what she told Arney on the phone on December 1st.
“I would have told him then what I told him when he came to council last month. If we did anything wrong, we will make it right,” she said in a phone interview this week.
The old culvert was removed and the new one installed a few days later, just before freeze up. By Friday, December 7, barely a week before arriving, construction crews were gone.
“What was left is a culvert that is wider and a lot longer than the one that was replaced. I have a copy of the permit they got from Quinte conservation, which says the new culvert will be 15 feet longer, but what is there is much longer than that. The permit also says that a sediment screen should be in place until the site has stabilised and there is no screening in place,” said Arney.
The construction took place after Greer Galloway, an engineering firm working for Central Frontenac, obtained a development permit from Quinte Conservation. The permit was granted on the basis of a report on the project prepared by Greer Galloway and submitted to Quinte Conservation, along with a “construction sequence and dewatering plan” that was submitted by Crains Construction.
The permit sets out six conditions, one being that a 27.5 metre long culvert will be replaced by a 31.5 metre long culvert. It also says that “sediment and erosion controls must be properly installed to isolate the work site from the watercourse and must remain in place until the site has stabilised.”
Quinte Conservation may or may not have visited the site before approving the permit. One of the notes attached to the permit says “Quinte Conservation inspects, some, but not all permits.”
When construction was complete, Ken Arney was not happy with the outcome. He called his local councillors, and eventually all members of council, and asked them to come look at the situation. He went before, and presented his concerns in February.
“They did not apologise. I got the feeling that they thought I was making trouble,” he said about the meeting.
He also said that while council is committed to buying the piece of land that they have effectively appropriated, they are not planning to build a new fence to replace the one that was removed.
He refers to a document he obtained from the public works department of the township, titled “notes on 2138 Henderson Road” which says, in part, “we can also investigate the possibilities of providing services in lieu of payment … (ie. repairing of fence or entrance improvements … )”
France Smith said that it is her understanding that Crains construction is going to replace the fence, and that a surveyor is going to be determining how much land is involved and the township will then purchase it.
“But none of this can happen in the winter,” she said. “We told him that. As I said, if we do anything wrong, we fix it.”
She also said that is it her understanding that Ken Arney was seeking a survey of his whole property as part of the resolution.
“We see no reason to do that, we will only survey what we need to survey,” she said.
Ken Arney is not quite ready to put the matter behind him.
“I think a lot of people messed up; Quinte, Greer Galloway, Crains and the township. Someone should look at this. The culvert is longer than they said it would be, and the sediment is leaching into the creek,” he said.
Addington Highlands Council approved a request to bend the rules on how waste is delivered to one of its waste sites at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon in Flinton.
The request came from Jenelle and Joseph Rosenblath, who are renovating the 41 Stop business.
“We purchased the property in October, 2018, (and) are attempting to renovate it and open as soon as possible as the summer months approach us,” the Rosenblaths said in a letter to Council. “Our next step is to prepare the site so that above ground fuel tanks can be installed and we need o remove an old free standing garage and deck.
“We would like to take the material to the Vennachar waste site in four large truck loads versus 16 smaller trailer loads as it is simply more convenient and cost effective and likely easier to dump and handle at the waste site.”
Coun. David Miles said he’d be in favour of making an exception to the dump rules in this case.
“But you’d be opening a can of worms,” said Coun. Kirby Thompson. “If you open that up, it’s never going to go away.”
“One of the reasons we have the rules is to discourage that sort of dumping at our waste sites,” said roads/bridges supervisor Brett Reavie.
Mayor Henry Hogg said there would be an option for the Rosenblaths to rent a dumpster but “they’re not cheap.”
“We want to be accommodating to our small businesses but we have to abide by the rules,” said Coun. Helen Yanch.
“We do make exceptions to bylaws on occasion,” said Clerk Christine Reed. “For example, we make exceptions to the noise bylaw.”
“Yes, but the noise goes away eventually, garbage is forever,” said Yanch.
In a recorded vote, Council defeated a motion to deny the request with Yanch and Thompson voting for.
“So, what do we do now?” said Hogg.
The answer was another motion, this time to approve the request. Again, it was a recorded vote and only Yanch voted against.
Council passed bylaws appointing David Twiddy as both Chief Building Official and Municipal Law Enforcement Officer.
Council denied a request from the Skootamatta District Ratepayers Association for $1,000 to test the water quality on Skootamatta Lake.
“I think all lake associations do water testing as part of their raison d’etre,” said Mayor Henry Hogg. “But if we do it for one, we’d have to do it for all.”
“I don’t think we can go down that road,” said Coun. Helen Yanch.
Council passed a motion to receive the request and refer the lake association to Quinte Conservation for assistance.
OPWA rejected as well
A request from the Ontario Public Works Association to proclaim a Public Works Week and hold a “Truck Roadeo” was turned down by Council.
“I don’t think we make proclamations,” said Mayor Henry Hogg.
“Never have,” said Coun. Helen Yanch.
“Unless Brett (roads/bridges supervisor Reavie) wants to do a demonstration of snowplowing,” said Hogg.
Following up on a very good construction year in 2016 ($8.7 million in construction value and $125,000 in permit fees collected), values jumped 18% to $10.34 million in 2017. Permit fees also jumped to $147,000. Looking further back to 2015, construction values are up by almost 50% over a two year period.
Permits were taken out for 30 new homes in 2017, a high water mark for the township, and although there were only 7 permits taken out for Commercial/Industrial construction in 2017, that still represents a large increase as only 1 commercial/industrial permit was purchased in each of 2015 and 2016.
The totals for 2017 were somewhat augmented by the permit for a single project, an Ultramar Station on Highway 7, the numbers as a whole represent a “positive trend” said Chief Building Official Shawn Merriman.
In addition to his December report, which rounded out the year, Merriman reported on January of 2018, and the new year has not exactly gotten off to a hot start in terms of permits.
“Only one permit was purchased in January and it was for a wood stove,” Merriman said.
The total construction value for 2018 is therefore pretty low, only $5,000, but the year is still young.
Canada 150 revisited
Central Frontenac is on the receiving end of some Federal Canada 150 infrastructure grant money that the original recipient municipality was not able to spend. The township applied for $150,000 from the program, intending to spend it on the long awaited Olden Ball Park in Mountain Grove, but were passed over in the initial grant intake. The township is now eligible for $50,000 provided the spending is matched by $100,000 in local spending and it is all complete by the end of March. Treasurer Michael McGovern said that there should be no problem, because spending on the project that the township already undertook last year is eligible for matching funding and the township can also purchase lighting for the park, the next major expense in the project, before the end of March.
Don’t look a gift park in the mouth
Gord Brown, from Arden, made a presentation to Council on behalf of the Kennebec Lake Association, the Friends of Arden and the Kennebec Recreation Committee, about the 6 km. of trails the three groups have been developing with Mark Snider, the owner of the Kennebec Shores development. As part of the Kennebec Shores plan of subdivision process, a 150 acre park was created and transferred to the township. The property, which used to be owned by Ross Baker, was at one time as ski hill with cross country ski trails.
Brown described them as “a nice mix of forest and vegetation, hills, ridges, cliffs and valley. The hilly terrain offers an experience that is significantly different than local flat rail-bed trails.”
He said that Mark Snider “knows the property extremely well and has expressed an interest in further trails development,” and added “the parkland also hosts an open hill for tobogganing and a pond for skating.”
He then described some of the work of the three groups are doing on the property, including developing signage for the trails that are already well marked, developing public parking lots, bridges and walkways over creeks, and more.
He asked the township to invest $8625 into materials that volunteers plan to use to build some fences, put up signs, install gates to prevent ATV’s from using the trails, etc.
Mayor Frances Smith said that the park could be an “asset to the township for recreation and economic development. She proposed a motion to receive Brown’s report and enlist township staff to look at the trails and the park in terms of safety and accessibility.”
Members of council spoke out as well, all expressing support for the project but expressing concerns over liability since the township owns the property.
The matter will likely come back to Council in the late spring.
Purdon named to Council
In response to the resignation of Olden Councillor Jamie Riddell, who has taken on the role of Deputy Fire Chief, Council appointed John Purdon, a former Olden Councillor who finished fourth in the 2014 election contest in Olden District. Riddell, and Victor Heese, were both first time candidates who were elected that year in Olden.
“John has been approached and has agreed to join council,” said Mayor Smith. “He is experienced and is not intending to run for council this year.”
Council voted unanimously in favour of inviting Purdon to join them at the council table. He will be sworn in at the next meeting, on February 27th.
Public Works briefs
Council accepted a bid from Morris Chemicals for the dust suppressant, Calcium Chloride after a joint tender process with Frontenac Islands. Central Frontenac will also join with the other Frontenac Townships to commission of a study of signage in the township with a view to assess the retro-reflexivity of township signage.
Without comment, Council approved the 2018 budget and spending estimates. The budget will increase the levy to Central Frontenac residents by 5.9% over 2017, with much of that increase going to replenish.
It took three special meetings but Central Frontenac Council and staff have their 2018 budget in order following a meeting Friday morning in Sharbot Lake.
The bottom line is that the Township will be asking its ratepayers for $434,525 more than it did in 2017, an increase of 5.94 per cent. That translates into $34 per each $100,000 of assessment or about $75 more on the average home in Central Frontenac (about $212,000).
Council had instructed staff to be under 2 per cent increase based on figures that include estimated growth, which they did (1.9 per cent increase based on those figures).
Some projects, such as new boards for the Tichborne Rink were put off for a year but other projects, such as Coun. Tom Dewey’s desire for portable microphones ($20,000), funding for the voluntary septic inspection program ($5,000) or the wind-up for the Canada 150 committee ($4,000) were simply moved over to bolster depleted reserve funds.
Other budget lines, such as a donation for the swim program, could be added to by public donations, suggested Mayor Frances Smith, but that may require some communications/advertising.
“If people don’t know there’s a need, they won’t contribute,” she said. “But you can come to the office and tell the clerk ‘this donation is for the swim program (or whatever) and they’ll see that it goes to the right place.”
Council didn’t seem to think Public Works Manager Brad Thake’s (tongue-in-cheek) suggestion of $10 per pothole had much of a chance however.
There was some good news in the budget.
For example, policing costs went down by $10,000 ($1,256,474 vs. $1,267,908) and recent revelations that the solar projects “have never paid for itself” because of some equipment problems could lead to future revenue once those issues are addressed.
Treasurer Michael McGovern reported that having the County look after IT was more expensive than originally proposed (“we were told it would be cheaper, it hasn’t been”) Coun. Phillip Smith suggested “maybe we should look at an outside provider.”
However, McGovern said that despite not being as cheap as promised, the service has been good and he wasn’t recommending a change.
Central Frontenac Council and staff met at the Oso Firehall Tuesday to have a second round of budget talks and while Treasurer Michael McGovern estimated they managed to cut about $10,000 out of the 2018 budget, it still looks like the Township plans to spend almost $348,000 more than it did in 2017, an increase of about 4.75 per cent.
On Tuesday, Council looked at the Fire, Public Works and Facilities budgets, with Corporate Services still to come.
There are still cuts likely to be made, for example, $7,500 for heat and $1,500 for electricity for the old library building in Mountain Grove.
In fact, Mayor Frances Smith told staff she wanted to see a report on all of the Township’s buildings within 60 days after Fire Chief Greg Robinson reported that the fire department has three buildings in Mountain Grove “one of which we use and two that we don’t.”
One of those buildings is used by the rec committee at the rink and Robinson said it could be used for fire equipment storage, which would make the old firehall in Parham surplus, meaning that property could be sold.
The former Hinchinbrooke Public School is expected to cost $8,000 but that could be considerably higher if the oil tank has to be removed.
In fact, several staff members suggested there were buildings and facilities that could be liquidated to reduce operating costs.
And there was some suggestion that even halls that are used are costing a lot. For example, Kennebec Hall brings in $3,000 in revenue but costs $20,000 to operate. Mountain Grove Hall costs $19,000 to operate while generating about $1,000 in revenue. Piccadilly Hall brings in $1,250 in revenue but only costs $8,500 to operate. Oso Hall (the busiest hall in the Township) is expected to cost $18,798 but brings in $5,500.
Coun. Phillip Smith cautioned that Council also has to look at ongoing commitments, using the proposed rink project in Sharbot Lake as an example.
“We’re worried about $5,000 for heating a hall but the ongoing costs for a refrigeration unit at a rink would be considerable,” Smith said.
Council instructed staff to go over the changes and recommendations already made and set Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Oso Firehall for its next budget deliberations.
When Council reconvened from a closed session for their regular meeting, CAO Orr announced that they had just accepted Fire Chief Rick Chesebrough’s resignation; after more than 14 years of service for the township, Chesebrough will be leaving at the end of this week.
Later, Orr said this did not come as a surprise; “It’s been in the works for some time now: he did the math, and realized he was eligible.”
On behalf of Council, Mayor Vandewal congratulated Chesebrough, wishing him “many years of health and happiness.”
Council then passed a motion to appoint Terry Gervais as acting fire chief.
Support for Seniors Active Living Centre
Following last week’s presentation by David Townsend of SFCSC, Council moved to allocate 20% of the net annual operating costs to support SFCSC’s proposed Seniors Active Living Centre funding application, to a maximum of $12,000 annually over the next three years in a combination of cash and in-kind services to be negotiated annually with the Township.”
It has been suggested that with the ongoing support of the township, the SFCSC Board may wish to consider inviting a member of Council to sit on their Board.
Tax Sale Policy
Council approved a revised tax sale policy which incorporates the legislative changes from Bill 68. Two related by-laws authorized the treasurer to enter into extension agreements and provided for an administration fee to be charged once the tax sale process is undertaken.
Details about the sale of properties in tax arrears and a flow chart describing the process are available on the Township website, or at the Township office.
Township Granted $80,882 for Commuter Cycling Program
The township’s application through the Public Works department for funding from the Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program has been successful: it will be applied to one of two projects planned for this coming year: fully paved bike lanes between Harrowsmith and Sydenham, or a bike lane adjoining a pedestrian sidewalk along the south side Bedford Road between the end of George Street and Alton Road in Sydenham. Public Works Manager Segsworth also plans to fit in a bike lane on the north side of Bedford; Mayor Vandewal questioned whether this might narrow a busy stretch of road too much. Segsworth replied that because of the busyness of the road, it was also a very dangerous stretch for bicycles.
Storrington Centre Upgrades
Council directed staff to issue an RFP for improvements to the Storrington Centre, to include a new optic system, accessible washrooms and entrances, kitchen upgrades and a new folding wall. $333,000 has been approved in the 2018 capital budget, for this. Councillor Sleeth thanked the Township’s Public Works staff and the Storrington Recreation Committee for all their help in planning the project.
Back-up Generator for OPP Station
Council has approved purchase of a backup generator to provide overall backup power for the OPP building at Hartington. This had been held up when Councillor Revill questioned whether a second generator was needed. Further investigation showed that the existing generator on site at the OPP station only provides fire pump back-up power for the sprinkler system.
On the recommendation of Corporate Services Committee, Council agreed to extend the contract with Frontenac Municipal Law Enforcement Inc. for a further two years from March 1, 2018 to Feb 28, 2020.
The 2018 members to serve on the Committee of Adjustment will be: Al Revill, Ross Sutherland, Brad Barbeau and Ron Sleeth.
There being no further questions for the planner, Council approved the zoning of a new waterfront lot on South Basin of Buck Lake, Loughborough district.
Council adopted the Corporate Services Committee’s recommendation to maintain the Township’s current investment strategy and to issue an RFP for investment advisory services.
A proposed by-law to amend speed limits on Rutledge Road was, on Councillor Revill’s recommendation, referred to the Public Works Committee for discussion.
District 2 (Olden) will be without its compliment of two councilors for the near future as Coun. Jamie Riddell resigned his seat at Tuesday evening’s regular Central Frontenac Council meeting in Sharbot Lake.
Riddell told Council he was resigning to become deputy fire chief of the Central Frontenac Fire Department.
He expressed some regrets on leaving Council.
“It’s been a great three years but fire is very near and dear to my heart,” he said, “and, I’m looking forward to replacing (Fire Chief) Greg (Robinson) when he retires.
Former fire chief Bill Young had been deputy chief after Robinson was hired as full-time chief but Young’s contract was up at the end of December and with the job description, hours and remuneration (reduced by an estimated $12,000) changing, Young opted not to apply for the reorganized position.
“Jamie was the preferred candidate,” Robinson said.
With Riddell stepping down, Council now has 60 days to find a replacement, said CAO Cathy MacMunn.
“If it had happened within 90 days of the election, we could have gone without a replacement,” she said.
Council has several options including a by-election but seemed to rule that out because the expense wouldn’t be justified, said Mayor Frances Smith.
“I think Council should think about candidates to be named to replace Jamie and we’ll discuss it at our next meeting,” she said.
There is some precedent however.
When Coun. Bill Snyder died in office four years ago (also an election year) Council turned to Phillip Smith who had come third in the previous election after Snyder and Heather Fox.
In the last election, Cory Thompson was third after Riddell and Heese (John Purdon and Justin Gray were fourth and fifth respectively).
However, Council isn’t tied to that option, but the Mayor expressed a desire to appoint someone from District 2.
Elm Tree road work underway
Public Works Manager Brad Thake told Council that the oft-postponed work on Elm Tree Road began Monday.
“We’re actually a bit ahead of schedule,” he said.
Interim Tax levy approved, paving the way for tax bills
Council passed bylaws for an interim tax levy (one-half of last year’s levy), borrowing to finance 2018 expenditures and to make Committee of Adjustment appointments